Transfer Spending Perspective in the Summer of Neymar

neymar-psg-04082017_1paf0vz67e5f01myza67bwzsriOn August 3rd 2017, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior joined Paris St. Germain from Barcelona in a $263 million deal that makes him the most expensive player in soccer history. The fee smashes a record set only one year earlier by Paul Pogba’s $116 million transfer to Manchester United.

The Neymar saga proved to be just the tip of the iceberg with players moving throughout the summer of 2017 at valuations which seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata, Alexander Lacazette, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Leonardo Bonucci are just a few examples of large fee transfers completed this summer. Many are quick to point to PSG owner Qatar Sports Investments, an investment fund directly backed by the Qatari government, as the inflationary spark saying that investment coming from the sovereign fund is distorting the entire market. But did PSG’s big ticket purchase really set everything off?

This is where it’s helpful to have some perspective. Here’s a visualization of the net transfer spending of the top European leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1) with the five biggest English clubs + PSG highlighted:

Note that in the past five years these six clubs have accounted for at least 30% (most years the figure is closer to 50%) of total net spending within the European leagues.

If we include all Premier League clubs the gap becomes even more pronounced, with English clubs spending the vast majority of transfer fees in the past decade barring two years in which Ronaldo and Fabregas respectively were sold outside the league.

Maybe PSG is just catching up to the party that the Premier League started?

Transfer Spending Perspective in the Summer of Neymar

Premier League Transfer Summary 1999-2012

UEFA is the busiest marketplace in the world for football players and the clubs of the English Premier League are the high rollers in the house. English clubs splash cash often and in large amounts. Here we will take a look at some of the data from the past twelve years of the league (1999-00 to 2011-12).


Total Player Movements have increased almost 100% over the period, increasing from 567 in 1999 to 1,041 in 2012. This number includes players involved in loans as well as straight transfers. The growth in transfer activity implies that more players, from more clubs are all moving more frequently. The trend of more volatile squad composition is likely to be well spread too as there is a limit to how many transfers a single club can (or should) contribute per season.

Nothing too surprising in the Departure and Arrival figures, moving on… Continue reading “Premier League Transfer Summary 1999-2012”

Premier League Transfer Summary 1999-2012

Premier League January Spending 2011-12

Pencils down, hand in your papers, the transfer window is now shut. How do this season’s transfers (2011-12) compare with previous years?

Let’s look at Gross Spending, Gross Revenues, and Net Spending for the Premier League from 1992-Present.*

Gross buying activity was down considerably to Continue reading “Premier League January Spending 2011-12”

Premier League January Spending 2011-12