International Centre for
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Thu. 25 September 2014

Records broken during 2014 summer transfer window

The transfer expenditure of big-5 league clubs has never been as high as that seen during the 2014 summer transfer window. The total expenditure this year was €2.4 billion which was €200 million more than the figure recorded in the previous year, as shown in issue 82 of the Big-5 Weekly Post of the CIES Football Observatory.

A new record high was also measured with regard to the percentage of transfer fees invested with 49% of the ten most active clubs now involved in this activity. In addition, the level of transfer fee compensation paid by clubs in the most active league – the English Premier League - reached a new peak of 45% of total transfer expenditure.

All of these findings show the increasing concentration of fee paying transfer activity at the very top of the football pyramid. At the same time, and as shown in issue 81 of the Big-5 Weekly Post, an increasing proportion of fees invested do also benefit other big-5 league clubs (72% during the last transfer window compared to 67% for the five previous years). These figures highlight the ongoing transformation of the transfer market into a zero-sum game involving a closed circle of top level teams and with significant amounts of money made by dominant intermediaries and/or third-parties.

The club that invested the most on the transfer market since 2008 was Real Madrid €750 million, closely followed by Manchester City (€733 million).

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