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FIFA TMS’s Global Transfer Market 2017: International transfers in 2016 highest ever

January 30, 2017

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BusinessFeatured

FIFA TMS’s Global Transfer Market 2017: International transfers in 2016 highest ever

January 30, 2017

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FIFA TMS has launched its Global Transfer Market Report 2017. It examines official international transfer figures for the six Confederations in 2016.

The information is based on individual transaction data provided directly by football clubs in TMS. The transfer data was analysed for all completed transfers between 1 October 2010 and 31 December 2016 and all data was extracted from TMS on 19 January 2017.

The report shows that the total number of international transfers reached a new peak last year, with 14,591 completed deals, surpassing the 14,000 mark for the first time ever. This is almost a thousand transfers more than the previous year, when there were a total of 13,601.

Spending fees on transfers set a new record in 2016 with $4.79 billion, a 14.3% increase from the previous year and the largest increase since 2013.  Although clubs spent almost $5 billion in 2016 this is made up of only a small fraction of all global transfers,  85.6% of all worldwide transfers do not involved the payment of a fee.

The report also reveals that 879 transfers occurred between countries that had never before completed a single transfer together since the introduction of the International Transfer Matching System (ITMS) in 2010, with new transfer streams being created and old relationships remaining strong. Kimberly Morris, FIFA TMS Acting General Manage said “This is a clear signal that football has become more global than ever, and it is interesting to see how the transfer market continues to evolve and expand year after year across the globe”.

China garnered much global attention last year with many top footballers moving to play in the Chinese Super League, arguably throwing the game into distribute in the chase of money. Major names from some of Europe’s top clubs have accepted inflated wages to play in China and plenty have turned them down to maintain the honour of the game. This transfer stream contributed to an increase in the spending of Chinese clubs to $451.3 million in 2016, almost 17 times that of 2013, and 344.4% more than the rest of AFC combined.

A closer look at Confederation spending:  

Clubs from UEFA dominated the transfer market, accounting for over 82% of all spending on transfer fees in 2016, while CONMEBOL was the confederation with the biggest increase in transfers from the previous year, with incoming transfers up 15.9% and outgoing transfers up 11.6% from 2015.

FIFA TMS

Key figures and facts:

– Russian clubs spent $114.1 million (+383.0% increase on 2015)

– Spanish clubs received $554.5 million from outgoing transfers in 2016 (+49.5% increase on 2015)

– The average age of players engaged by English clubs was 22 years and 8 months – the third youngest in the world

– 69.2% of the total transfers completed in 2016 involved players between the ages of 20 and 28, with 23 being the age when most players were transferred (1,310 transfers)

– 92% of the transfers of players older than 32 were out of contract, with permanent transfers more frequent when players are younger, especially when they are in their teens

– Qatari is the youngest nationality by average age of players transferred in 2016 with 18 years and 10 months (41 transfers), while Liberian is the oldest with 29 years and 6 months (12 transfers).

The Deloitte Football Money League recently crowned Manchester United the highest earning club in the world, again breaking records with over €600m revenue last year. The amount of money in football has always been astronomical and now with even greater wages and transfer offers coming in from China we see don’t see any of these records lasting for too long.

The FIFA TMS Global Transfer Market Report 2017 is available for free download at www.fifatms.com.

Written by Michael Harvey

Michael Harvey

Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist

Michael Harvey

Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist