WHAT A DIP?

Value of football transfers hit 5-year low in 2021, say Fifa

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

In Summary

•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.

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

 

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku after the match
Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku after the match
Image: REUTERS

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.

Meanwhile, Peter McCormick will take over as interim chair of the Premier League when Gary Hoffman steps down on Feb. 1, the league said on Thursday.

The 69-year-old McCormick, a lawyer who has also been interim chairman of the Football Association since November 2020, received the backing of all 20 clubs.

"(Peter) is well known to us all and a trusted pair of hands who will see us through this transition period. The Board's aim is to have a new permanent Chair in place before the start of next season," said chief executive Richard Masters.