Soccer clubs spent nearly USD 1.9 billion less than last year on international player transfers during the European summer trading window, according to FIFA research published on Friday.
Disruption to the soccer industry from the coronavirus pandemic extended trading by five weeks into October. It also took billions of dollars out of the market from lost revenue in broadcasting deals and tickets sales.
FIFA's transfer monitoring system recorded USD 3.92 billion in spending on players moving between clubs in different countries. Sales were USD 5.8 billion in the shorter summer window in 2019.
Clubs have been obliged since 2010 to share financial details of cross-border player moves with the FIFA platform. It was also intended to help clean up the often murky transfer market.
Transfer monitoring of women's soccer became mandatory in 2018 and the recent trading period showed the value of fees almost doubled year-on-year. FIFA said the total value of the international market from June into October was USD 821,800.
European clubs were overwhelmingly the biggest spenders paying USD 3.78 billion with English clubs spending the most at USD 1.25 billion in the market which closed on Monday.
Italian clubs spent USD 544 million on buying players from abroad.
The money circulating showed European clubs also received USD 3.5 billion in transfer fees. Spanish clubs took in USD 672 million, Italian clubs USD 484 million, and USD 396 million went to England.
FIFA's figures offer only a partial picture as they do not include transfer deals between clubs in the same country.
Still, there is a strong trend of money flowing from Europe to South America.
FIFA's report details South American clubs receiving USD 295 million from international transfers and spending only USD 25 million.
Asian confederation clubs spent USD 87 million and received USD 62 million.
The volume of transfers also trended down from more than 9,000 international deals one year ago to 7,424 in the latest summer window.
The number of deals involving a fee fell by almost 25 per cent, to a total of 1,222.
FIFA counted four categories of international transfers: permanent deals, free agent signings, loans out and players returning from loans.
In women's soccer, 522 deals were made across international borders in the recently closed transfer window compared to 385 one year ago. FIFA did not break down the numbers by continent.
A total of 18 transfers involved a fee with a higher average value than a year ago, when 16 deals had a total value of USD 454,600.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)