According to FIFA, the world’s governing body of soccer, European Soccer Clubs across the world spent 2.7 billion pounds ($4.1 billion) on international transfer fees in 2014. This marks the first time the figure has gone above the $4 billion mark and it represents an increase of 2.1 per cent over 2013. The English Premier League led the way in the spending spree by forking out $1.2 billion throughout the course of the year. English clubs accounted for more than 25 per cent of the total spent and also spent 67 per cent more than Spain, which dished out the second most cash.
The main reason Premier League sides have been spending money like there’s no tomorrow is because of the new television broadcasting deal the league signed. The money will also continue to roll in for the league since bidding on the next contract for live domestic matches has already begun. The rights for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 seasons are expected to bring in quite a bit more than the last deal of 3.02 billion pounds ($4.5 billion).
Player agents are raking in money left, right and center in England due to the fact the clubs pay the agents rather than making the players pay the agents. A total of $236 million went into the pockets of agents across the globe last year with English teams paying out over 33 per cent of it at $87 million. However, it’s inexplicable why soccer teams are paying the agents instead of the players paying for their services. In addition, all of the monetary figures released refer to international player transfers only. This means the actual money spent is higher due to deals that involve clubs in the same country.
FIFA releases the figures to make the transfers legally compliant and more transparent and now uses a high-tech electronic computer system of tracking deals instead of the old paper-and-telephone method. According to FIFA, teams around the world transferred 13,090 players internationally last year with European clubs accounting for 87 per cent of the money spent. But while European teams did most of the spending, the highest number of transfers originated in Brazil with 1,335 of them. England was involved in the second-most deals with Portugal ranking as the third busiest nation. Spain raked in the most money as other clubs paid $667 million for Spanish players.
As usual, the busiest transfer periods during the last 12 months came in January, July and August, which is when the European player transfer windows are open each year. This is when clubs from England, Scotland, Italy, Spain, France and Germany stock up on players. Even though English clubs may spend the most cash, they’re not favored to win the European Champions League in 2014/15 as bet365 lists Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga at 5/2 to take the trophy in May.