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Wed. 06 September 2023

Net transfer spending: winners and losers

CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post number 429 presents the net transfer spending* of the 100 most active clubs in terms of the financial volume of transactions concluded over the last decade. During this period, Manchester United has the most negative balance (-€1.396 billion), while the Portuguese side SL Benfica has the best (+€764 million).

Two other teams have had transfer losses of more than €1 billion over the last ten years: Chelsea and Paris St-Germain. Chelsea also has the most negative balances in the post-COVID period (-€993 million) and the calendar year 2023 (-€558 million). In contrast, SL Benfica outranks AFC Ajax (+€434m) and RB Salzburg (+€422m) over the last decade, while Villarreal CF has the most positive net spending in the 2023 calendar year (+€129m).

Also published today, the 87th CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report presents an even more detailed analysis of transfer-related financial flows in world football over the last decade. In particular, it shows that the amount of transfer fees incurred by clubs in 2023 (around €12.4 billion) was almost 25% higher than in the previous record year of 2019. This is essentially due to the sharp increase of English Premier League and Saudi Pro League clubs’ investments.

* The figures published include fixed transfer fees, any add-ons regardless of whether they have actually been paid, as well as sums invested in the context of paying loans. Amounts negotiated for loans with an obligation to buy are included in the breakdown for the year of the transfer. Within the limits of available information, the data on beneficiaries considers sell-on fees negotiated by previous clubs.

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