According to metadata analyzed over the period 2011-2020, thanks to the TMS (FIFA Transfer matching system) developed and launched in October 2010 by FIFA, the transfer window experienced constant growth until 2019, before the crisis of the Covid also hits this activity.
From 2.85 billion dollars (2.41 billion euros) in the first year of TMS monitoring (2011), the sum rose to 7.35 billion (6.22 billion euros) in 2019 , before a decline of 23% in 2020 (5.63 billion dollars, 4.77 billion euros) because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to this study, the 30 most spending clubs are all Europeans. Among them, twelve play in the English Premier League, five in Spain and five in Italy, three in Germany, two in France and Portugal, one in Russia. These 30 clubs alone account for 47% of the total worldwide amount of transfer spending over the period.
The biggest spending club of the decade is Manchester City (the report does not give any figures), ahead of Chelsea and FC Barcelona. In the other direction, the two clubs which have received the most money for transfers are Portuguese, Benfica and Sporting.
If we compare the net profit on the transfer market (the balance between sales and purchases), a third Portuguese institution joins the podium, FC Porto.
Unsurprisingly, the Premier League is the top-spending league, with $ 12.4 billion (10.5 billion euros) in purchases in ten years, ahead of Spain ($ 6.7 billion, 5 billion). 6 billion euros) and Italy (5.6 billion dollars, 4.7 billion euros). France is 5th ($ 4 billion, € 3.4 billion) and China, which is trying to build a powerful league, 7th with $ 1.7 billion (€ 1.4 billion).
Outside Europe, the most transfer-intensive clubs, by confederation, are Guangzhou Evergrande (China) for Asia, Pyramids FC (Egypt) for Africa, Flamengo (Brazil) for South America and the Tigers (Mexico) for Concacaf.
If we exploit the “big data” on the players, we see that the world’s leading supplier of footballers remains Brazil, with 15,128 transfers over the period, ahead of Argentina 7,444, Great Britain (5,523) and France (5,027 ).
The report also makes it possible to identify the explosion in agent commissions. While the total amount paid to intermediaries was $ 131.1 million (€ 111.1 million) in 2011, it was $ 640.5 million (€ 542.8 million) in 2019, an increase qualified as “spectacular” by FIFA.
FIFA is also concerned about the drop in training compensation paid to a player’s home club on a subsequent transfer. Raised to 63.4 million dollars (53.7 million euros) in 2019, the overall amount suffered a drop of 40% to 38.5 million dollars (32.6 million euros) in 2020 , while the volume of transfers fell only 23% over the same period.
The report therefore mentions “a sharp decline” in the amount of these solidarity contributions, the total for 2020 being very close to what it was in 2011 ($ 38 million, € 32.2 million). “This trend shows the need to set up a clearing house,” said FIFA.
TMS (FIFA Transfer Matching System) is a computerized register of all transfers of professional players for 200 federations around the world. It now supports all types of transfers, including those of women, amateur players and young people. It is therefore a valuable tool for analyzing the economic power of football.