Issue number 389 of the Weekly Post assesses paying fee transfer operations carried out by current big-5 league clubs since July 2012. The study compares players’ values prior to transfer, estimated according to the exclusive CIES Football Observatory’s statistical model, and fees actually paid. This allows us to highlight clubs having most driven inflation up, with Manchester United heading the rankings.
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

Manchester United’s total investment for the 33 fee paying transfers assessed in the study was €238M greater than the estimated value of players concerned: €1.59 vs €1.36 billion (+18%). Juventus (€233 M, +29%) and Paris St-Germain (€162M, +19%) complete the overspending table’s podium. Only three Premier League teams figure among the 36 clubs that invested less money than expected to conclude the fee-paying deals assessed. This confirms their key role in driving up inflation on the transfer market.

Deals concluded by triggering buy-out or option-to-buy clauses were not included in the sample analysed. Only 86 current big-5 league clubs for which we were able to assess at least ten fee-paying transfers figure in the rankings. More information about the CIES Football Observatory’s scientific method to assess players’ transfer values and fees is available in this open access peer review paper.

Overspending table

At least ten paying transfer since July 2012, not including deals concluded by triggering buy-out or option-to-buy clauses