Skip to main content

FIFA reveals $3.7 billion spent on transfers in 2013

updated 9:07 AM EST, Wed January 29, 2014
Dimitar Berbatov was in action for English Premier League Fulham at the weekend but the Bulgarian international striker has now signed for Monaco in Ligue 1 on loan with a view to a permanent move. Dimitar Berbatov was in action for English Premier League Fulham at the weekend but the Bulgarian international striker has now signed for Monaco in Ligue 1 on loan with a view to a permanent move.
HIDE CAPTION
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
January transfer window
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA's Transfer Matching System handled 12,309 international player moves in 2013
  • Those 12,309 moves worth $3.7 billion
  • England spent more than any other country on transfers -- $913 million
  • Brazil once again had the most number of transfers -- 1,402

(CNN) -- As football's January transfer window prepares to shut on Friday, clubs, players and agents are involved in a complicated game of roulette -- just who will blink first?

For clubs, be they at the top or the bottom of the table, the window offers a final chance to either push them forward to title success or European Champions League qualification, or potentially rescue their top-flight status.

There is an awful lot of money at stake as well as league position.

In 2013, world governing body FIFA's Transfer Matching System handled 12,309 international player moves -- an increase of 4% on 2012 -- which were worth $3.7 billion, up a whopping 41%.

Thanks to a bumper television deal worth $4.7 billion that is shared between the 20 Premier League clubs, England spent more than any other country on transfers in 2013 -- $913 million -- an increase of 51% over the previous year.

That $913 million represents 25% of the global transfer spend.

Champagne: Football has lost credibility
Looking back at 150 years of soccer

In the current 2013-2014 season English Premier League clubs have already spent over $1.3 billion on players, more than double the sum teams in Spain, Italy and France are investing in strengthening their squads, according to the authoritative Transfermarkt website.

"Intermediaries"

Traditionally January is viewed as a bad time to invest in players, given selling clubs always demand a premium.

But that hasn't stopped champions Manchester United, struggling to qualify for next season's Champions League, signing Spain international Juan Mata for a club record $61 million from Chelsea.

While English clubs spent lavishly, Brazil once again had the most number of transfers -- 1,402 -- for both incoming and outgoing players, testament to the 2014 World Cup host's knack for developing players.

Often key to any transfer deal is the role played by what FIFA terms "intermediaries," be they agents, lawyers or even parents.

Last week Spanish club Barcelona revealed the deal to sign Brazil international Neymar cost $118 million, including a $66 million "compensation fee" paid to a company owned by the player's parents.

According to FIFA, although there was an increase of 30% in club intermediary commissions paid in 2013, there was a decrease in the actual number of transfers involving such "middle men" -- only 14% compared to 17% in 2012.

Last year's biggest transfer was Real Madrid's purchase of Wales international Gareth Bale from English club Tottenham.

The BBC reported it was a world-record move worth $132 million that was greater than the $124 million fee Real Madrid produced to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from Manchester United in 2009.

Read: Mata wins on Man Utd debut

Read: Messi: is he staying or going?

Read: Barca president resigns amid Neymar row

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT