All things being equal, the price of players during the last transfer window went up by 31% compared to the previous year. Since 2014, the annual inflation growth rate on the transfer market for big-5 league footballers has been 26%. With respect to 2011, the same player costs now almost three times more. More exclusive analysis is available in the 47th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report.
The amounts at stake on the football players’ transfer market have strongly increased over the past decade. At big-5 league level, the investments in transfer indemnities have grown from €1.5 billion in 2010 to a new record of €6.6 billion in 2019 (+340%). During this period, big-5 league clubs have recorded a cumulative deficit of €8.9 billion. English Premier League clubs alone have a total net negative balance of €6.5 billion, with a record deficit for Manchester City (€1.1 billion).
Despite the increase in spending and a strongly inflationary context, the growing recourse by clubs to payments spread out over several years shows that more and more teams are finding themselves at the limit of their financial capabilities. In an increasingly speculative and uneven environment, a growing number of clubs, even within the most powerful leagues, include the profits made on the transfer market into their financial model. This situation is not without danger for their stability, independence and competitiveness.