World Football - Clubs spent £1.9 billion on international transfers in 2011

Fri, 02 Mar 14:03:00 2012

For the first time ever FIFA has revealed the total amount of money spent on international transfers across the globe in a 12 month period and have come up with a mind-boggling number.

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In 2011, an incredible £1.9 billion was spent on transfer fees for players from other countries – a figure that doesn't include transfers between domestic clubs such as the year's biggest deal - Fernando Torres' £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea.

The figure was gathered by FIFA's new transfer matching system which has been set up to try and stop corruption and irregularities when it comes to foreign transfers.

Clubs signing players from overseas now must report all payments and contracts to FIFA and ensure that payments go directly to the selling club to prevent money-laundering.

"There were some pretty crazy descriptions of behaviour going on in 2008 and 2009 when we began to set up the system," the system's general manger Mark Goddard told the Guardian.

"We know there is extreme behaviour out there. There are still limitations with this system, but we are trying to ensure money is being paid between clubs. We are drawing a line in the sand, that nobody can get in between clubs."

The new group also showed that £82m was paid to agents and that 20 per cent of all international transfers involved players from either Brazil or Argentina.

In 2011 alone, 1500 Brazilian players were involved in international transfers – 13 per cent of the total amount.

The group's first report also showed that the average basic annual salary for a footballer is £153,815 and the average transfer fee is just under £1m.

In Europe's big leagues these averages jump considerably, although FIFA did not reveal the breakdowns for specific countries.

Since the system was set up FIFA have opened up 700 procedures against clubs and associations who have breached the rules.

"We are looking for clubs to be transparent and we are able to verify the information given with other bodies including UEFA," said Isabelle Solal who is the head of integrity and compliance for the transfer matching system.

Among the bigger international deals in 2011 where Sergio Aguero's move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City; Javier Pastore's switch from Palermo to Paris St-Germain; and Cesc Fabregas' transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona.


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