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Value of football transfers hit 5-year low in 2021: FIFA

By AFP
14 January 2022   |   12:08 pm
The value of football transfers globally in 2021 was the lowest for five years as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on clubs' finances for a second year, according to FIFA's "Global Transfer Report".

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 03, 2013 (FILES) In this file photo taken on October 3, 2013, the logo of the global football’s governing body FIFA is seen at its headquarters in Zurich. – A Swiss prosecutor investigating corruption in football met in secret with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, German and Swiss media alleged on April 18, 2020, further fuelling allegations of collusion between football’s world governing body and Swiss investigators. Citing unnamed sources, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and Switzerland’s Luzerner Zeitung suggested that Cedric Remund, 38, was the previously unidentified fifth person at a secret meeting with Infantino and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber at the Schweizerhof Hotel in Bern on June 16, 2017. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

The value of football transfers globally in 2021 was the lowest for five years as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on clubs’ finances for a second year, according to FIFA’s “Global Transfer Report”.

Spending on transfer fees was $4.86 billion, a fall of 13.6 percent compared to 2020 and a decrease of 33.8 percent compared to the record levels of 2019.

While the biggest transfer of 2021, Romelu Lukaku’s £97.5 million ($133.7 million) move from Inter Milan to Chelsea, caught the eye, overall transfer spending fell despite the number of transactions increasing.

A total of 18,068 transfers were registered, against 17,190 in 2020, a rise of five percent.

The top ten transfers alone generated almost 15 percent of the total spending while the vast majority of moves — nearly 88 percent — involved free transfers, suggesting cash-strapped clubs were looking for bargains.

“While all clubs needed to freshen up their squads (with the overall number of transfers at a similar level to the 2019 peak), clubs were not as eager to pay transfer fees,” the report said.

French players were the nationality that accounted for the highest amount of spending, with $643 million dollars, displacing Brazil from the top spot.

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