International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 05 February 2018

Exclusive CIES Football Observatory transfer market analysis

Issue number 213 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses transactions carried out by big-5 league clubs during January’s transfer window. For the first time in history, the total estimated spending was over one billion euro. Transfer expenditure increased by 36% compared to the previous record figure measured in 2017. English Premier League investments accounted for 51% of transfer indemnities paid by big-5 league clubs as a whole.

Since 2010, Premier League teams always had negative balance sheets for operations carried out during winter windows. The net balance in 2018 was -€113 M despite the expensive transfers of Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa from England to Spain. These signings mainly explain the record deficit observed for Spanish Liga teams: -€188 M. The estimated balance sheets for the three other major European championships were positive: +€48 M for the Italian Serie A, +€33 M for the German Bundesliga and +€14 M for the French Ligue 1.

Once again, a high correlation (75%) was measured between values estimated through the exclusive CIES Football Observatory algorithm and fees paid by clubs. However, the majority of transfers were concluded for higher amounts than those estimated. This confirms the ongoing inflation trend in football players’ transfer market. The updated transfer values for all big-5 league squad members are available here.