The 2011/12 Transfer Market: Numbers & Conclusions

The outlay in the transfer market of the big five leagues in Europe during the 2011/12 season is more than €2 billion

Money Money Money


The outlay in the transfer market of the big five leagues in Europe during the 2011/12 season is more than €2 billion. suggests that the English Premier League spent the most:  €626m. The EPL recorded the biggest loss in the transfer market – €224.6m on €401m revenue from transfers.

The Serie A‘s transfer market expenditure: €565.9m. Income from selling players: €502m (overall loss of €63.8m). The Spanish League clubs (La Liga) spent €370.8 and received €312.7, while Ligue 1 teams spent €245.9m and got €185.2 (€60.64 loss). The Bundesliga clubs spent €206.9m and sold players for €164 (loss of €48.8m).

It is clear from the numbers the Russian league is a big player in the transfer market.

The Russian Premier Liga have lost €120m (expenditure: €186m; revenue: €65m) – more than any other league, apart from the Premier League.

According to the Professional Football Players Observatory, since 2009, the percentage of active internationals in Russia has progressed by 17%, from 11.6 to 28.6%. Footballers having played for a national A-team in 2011 represent a greater proportion of players in Russia than in France (25.8%), Italy (25.1%) and Spain (23.0%). Only levels in England (41.2%) and Germany (33.3%) are still higher than in Russia.

Russia, basically, is the 6th league in Europe and it seems only the Financial Fair Play could stop it.

There are profitable leagues in the transfer market – most of them are small. However, Portuguese SuperLiga clubs earned €11.3m (expenditure: €106.4m; revenue: €117.8m). The Dutch Eredivisie posted €60m profit on sales (expenditure: €65.7m; revenue: €126m). The Championship (England’s second tier) spent €124.4m and sold players for 62.5m, resulting in more than €60m surplus.

The Belgian league (Jupiler Pro League) is the most profitable in the transfer market. The Belgian teams have received over €106.2m million from sales in the transfer market. Deducting purchases of €38.9m during the season gives net proceeds of an astonishing €67.23m.

What does it mean? It means the Belgian youngsters are getting better while the Belgian scouting system is doing something right.

Anyhow, most of the purchases were made in the summer of 2011. And it will be a fair conclusion to say that we won’t see clubs spend more than €2 billion on players in the near future.

Deloitte partner in sports business Dan Jones believes the restrained transfers could be due to incoming UEFA financial fair play rules which require all clubs that compete in European cups, to balance their books.

“As clubs are now in the reporting period that will count towards the first assessment for UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement, their comparative restraint is indicative of an overriding reflection on spending levels. The focus on football’s future financial sustainability is more prevalent in Europe than at any time in the past 20 years and, going forward we remain keen to see that translated into a better balance between revenue and expenditure.”


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