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
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT