English clubs the big spenders in record transfer year, says Fifa report

Brazilian forward Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain was a world-record transfer worth €222 million. — Reuters picBrazilian forward Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain was a world-record transfer worth €222 million. — Reuters picMADRID, Jan 31 — Football clubs across the world splashed out a record US$6.37 billion (RM24.9 billion) on players during 2017 with English teams again the biggest spenders, Fifa’s Global Transfer Market Report said.

The total paid out was about 33 per cent more than in 2016 as English clubs led the way with a net spend of US$988 million on squad improvement.

Deals such as Romelu Lukaku’s £75 million (RM414 million) move from Everton to Manchester United and Alvaro Morata’s £60 million switch from Real Madrid to Chelsea put English teams at the top of the list.

But those individual deals were eclipsed by Brazilian forward Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain in a world-record transfer worth €222 million (US$263 million, RM1.07 billion).

The fee was over double the previous record which took France midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United from Juventus for US$126 million.

“Spending growth is driven by a relatively small group of clubs,” the report said, with over two-thirds of the total amount spent by 50 clubs in 13 different countries.

The average transfer fee for a player in the top 50 most-expensive moves was US$48.4 million, up from US$35.2 million in 2016. The report shows that only 15.8 per cent of transfers involved fees being paid from one club to another.

Fees paid to agents also increased significantly. English clubs forked out a reported US$125.7 million on intermediary payments and US$447 million was handed over worldwide — up from US$387 million in 2016.

Brazil was the country most involved in international transfers with 1,755 of their players switching teams in 2017.

Two hundred and fifty four Brazilian clubs conducted international transfer deals with Germany (143), England (132), Argentina (111) and Spain (98) making up the top five.

Spanish clubs received the most money in transfer fees (US$840.4 million), but Portuguese ones posted the highest net receipts of US$707.5 million. — Reuters