Another round of frenzied spending in the football market – or was it?
Although Beswicks sports lawyers were again busy in this transfer window advising on a number domestic and international player transfers, including Chris McCann to MLS team Atlanta United, Ben Purrington to Rotherham United and rising Scottish star Kyle McAllister to Derby County, many have reported a less than dramatic January in terms of headline-grabbing deals.
One perhaps surprising statistic is that, despite spending £215m, the second-highest figure since the record mark of £225m six years ago, Premier League clubs actually made a profit in this window of around £50m.
The global transfer market continues to grow year on year.
The number of player transfers completed each year rose to a new record in 2016, with 14,591 international transfers, a rise of 7.3% over 2015 with a staggering total spend of USD 4.70billion.
Despite these numbers, 85.6% of all transfers in 2016 did not involve a transfer fee, and only 1.5% involved a fee above USD 5 million.
So who is spending the money?
Not surprisingly UEFA clubs topped the spending table with 82.1% of all transfer fees during the year accounting for USD 3.93 billion.
Football headlines are never complete without mentioning China, whose influence and growth in the transfer market in 2016 is unprecedented
China‘s spending on international transfers amounted to USD 168.3 million in 2015, last year it had risen to USD 451.3 million, moving it from 20th worldwide in terms of spending in 2013 to ranking 5th in 2016.
Control of this ‘irrational’ investment is inevitable, with steps already being taken to further limit the number of foreign players able to be fielded by Chinese Super League clubs in each game to three.
As our sports lawyers can testify, this is a fascinating, frustrating and crazy market to be part of!