From Man United and Real Madrid to the top dogs in Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and beyond, let’s examine net transfer spend by club.
The phrase “DEMO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF PLAYER TRANSFERS” is probably not the sexiest one you’ve ever heard. Probably.
But if you’re interested in reckoning with the fundamental components of what really propels the business of soccer around the world this year and over the last several, you could do a lot worse than the so-named CIES Football Observatory report by Raffaele Poli, Loïc Ravenel, and Roger Besson.
Among the discoveries in this conspicuously well-organized document released this week:
- 2023 marks the first year in which player transfers have generated €10 billion ($10.73 billion) in fees; the report estimates a figure of €12 billion ($12.87 billion)
- English clubs account for 32% (or €25.36 billion) of global transfer spending over the past decade, more than double that of No. 2 Italy (€11.26 billion)
- English Premier League clubs incurred the largest losses based on net transfer spending between 2014 and 2013 at €11.11 billion ($11.91 billion)
- Portugal’s Primeira Liga, meanwhile, set the pace for league-wide transfer profits over that same period with €2.23 billion ($2.39 billion) in the green
That got us thinking: Which clubs in the Beautiful Game — particularly those Saudi Pro League rascals that fire off earth-shaking transfer fees to sign Neymars of the world — are willing to take the biggest losses as it relates to net transfer spend in order to win big? Meanwhile, which clubs have managed the heftiest transfer profits?
Net Transfer Spending by Club: The Biggest Profits
All figures via CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report No. 87. Click here to read the full findings.
2023 Transfer Profit
|3. Stade Rennais||France||€103M|
|t4. Shakhtar Donetsk||Ukraine||€98M|
Combined 2014-2023 Transfer Profit
|3. RB Salzburg||Austria||€421M|
|5. Sporting CP||Portugal||€376M|
|10. Dinamo Zagreb||Croatia||€251M|
Net Transfer Spend by Club: The Biggest Losses
Transfer Losses in 2023
|2. Al-Hilal||Saudi Arabia||€362M|
|6. Real Madrid||Spain||€214M|
|8. Al-Ahli||Saudi Arabia||€202M|
|10. Al-Nassr||Saudi Arabia||€164M|
Transfer Losses Combined from 2014-2023
|1. Manchester United||England||€1.39B|
|5. Manchester City||England||€856M|
|9. AC Milan||Italy||€545M|
|10. West Ham||England||€527M|
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