In ten years, the mercatos have generated 41 billion euros according to Fifa – Liberation

A report released on Monday by Fifa analyzes the world football transfer market over the past decade. Until the health crisis, expenses were constantly on the rise, with an explosion in agent commissions.

At a time when one of the craziest mercatos in football history, marked by the transfers of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and a group of other big names, is about to close, Fifa publishes a study on the international transfer market. On an unprecedented scale, it was carried out by collecting a shower of data over the period 2011-2020. All thanks to the TMS (Fifa Transfer matching system), a computer register officially launched in October 2010, which lists all transfers of professional players from the 200 federations recognized by Fifa around the world (it now supports all types of transfers, including those of footballers, amateur players and young people). Here is what to remember in four points.

Before the Covid, mercatos on the rise

41.1 billion euros. This is the figure most highlighted by the authors of the study: over the last decade, 41.1 billion euros have been brewed via the transfers of 66,789 professional footballers between 8,264 clubs (133,225 transfers to total). With a continuous increase in amounts each year until 2019, before a leap back for 2020 due to the Covid. From 2.41 billion euros in the first year (2011), the sum rose to 6.22 billion euros in 2019, before a decline of 23% in 2020 (4.77 billion).

Manchester City the biggest spender, PSG 4th

Failing to give precise figures, the report lists the names of the most active clubs on the market. Unsurprisingly, Manchester City is the one who has put his hand in the pocket the most in ten years, followed by Chelsea, FC Barcelona, ​​and Paris Saint-Germain. The thirty most spending clubs are all European and alone account for 47% of the total worldwide amount of transfer spending over the period. Among them, twelve play in the English Premier League, five in Spain and five in Italy, three in Germany, two in France and two in Portugal, one in Russia.

In the other direction, the two teams that have received the most money for transfers are Portuguese: Benfica Lisbon and Sporting Portugal. Monaco is the first French club in the ranking of best sellers (8th), ahead of Lyon (14th), Lille (16th) and PSG (18th). If we compare the net profit on the transfer market (i.e. the balance between sales and purchases), a third Portuguese institution joins the podium, FC Porto. Lyon is 5th in this ranking and Lille 6th.

Outside Europe, the most gourmet clubs, by confederation, are Guangzhou Evergrande (China) for Asia, Pyramids FC (Egypt) for Africa, Flamengo (Brazil) for South America and the Tigers (Mexico) by André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin for Concacaf (Football Confederation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean).

At the league level, the Premier League appears to be the biggest spending league, with 10.5 billion euros in purchases, followed by Spain (5.6 billion) and Italy (4.7 billion ). France is 5th (3.4 billion) while China, which is trying to build a powerful league, appears in 7th place with 1.4 billion.

Brazil, the main supplier of footballers

If we look at the origin of the players, the world’s leading supplier of footballers remains Brazil. And by far, with 15,128 transfers concluded over the period. This is twice as much as Argentina (7,444). France comes in 4th position (5,027), following Great Britain (5,523).

But when we take the total value of transfers – thus adding up the transfer fees for each player – the French fall to second place (3.811 billion euros), still far behind the Brazilians (5.992 billion euros).

The fluctuation applies to other countries: twentieth nation in number of nationals transferred over the period, the United States does not appear in the top 30 countries in terms of transfer fees, unlike Mexico, which arrives at 24th place in this ranking, with 384.8 million euros.

Explosion of agent commissions

The increase is qualified as “spectacular” by Fifa. In 2011, the total amount paid to players’ agents was € 111.1 million. Just before the health crisis arose, it approached 550 million euros (542.8) in 2019, for a total over ten years of 2.9 billion euros in commissions received by intermediaries in the context of transfers. international.

Another concern mentioned in the report is the drop in training compensation paid to a player’s home club on a subsequent transfer. Raised to 53.7 million euros in 2019, the overall amount suffered a drop of 40%, to 32.6 million euros in 2020, while at the same time, the volume of transfers did only decreased by 23%. The report therefore mentions “A strong decline” the amount of these solidarity contributions, the total for 2020 being very close to what it was in 2011 (32.2 million euros).

According to the report, this trend justifies the “Need to set up a clearing house”, which was established by Fifa – it should enter into force in June 2022 – to guarantee the payment of training compensation and solidarity contributions up to an amount of 254 million euros per year.


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