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Mon. 20 February 2023

World first: player price inflation revealed

The CIES Football Observatory research team is pleased to announce the publication of a ground-breaking report that reveals for the first time the inflation of player prices. Over the last decade, player prices have increased at an annual rate of 9%. A footballer paid €1 million in 2013/14 now costs €2.16 million (+116%).

The prices of players recruited by English Premier League clubs have risen more sharply than those of footballers hired by teams outside this competition: on average +12.2% per year compared to +8.4%. Inflation was also particularly marked for centre backs (+12.5% per annum), full backs (+11.1%), as well as for players aged 21 or under (+12.7%).

Overall, all else being equal, player prices increased at an annual rate of 13.8% between the 2013/14 and 2019/20 seasons, and then by -0.2% in the three seasons following the pandemic. However, after falling sharply in 2021/22, player prices resumed their growth in 2022/23, suggesting a rapid return to record levels.

In terms of investment volume, the total of €9.12 billion measured in 2022/23 is the second highest since the record season of 2019/2020. The rebound in 2021/22 from the sharp decline in the pandemic-affected 2020/21 season has thus continued into the current season, with even a new record for a winter transfer window in January 2023, largely driven by Premier League teams’ spending.

>>> Access the Report

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