How much money was spent in the 2023 transfer period? How much did Saudi Arabian clubs spend?
The FIFA report on the market reflects a 47.2% year-on-year growth in global spending. The entry of Saudi Arabia has catapulted the numbers.
Saudi Arabian clubs spent unprecedented amounts of money over the summer, eclipsing the ‘usual’ fees we are used to seeing in the European market. Now, FIFA have released the official figures of just how much was spent over the course of the year.
According to a report published by FIFA, it has been the highest-spending transfer period in the history of football, with $7.36 billion in investment. The analysis covers the period from June 1 to September 1, 2023. This colossal figure represents an increase of 47.2% compared to the same period last year and an increase of 26.8% compared to 2019, when the previous numbers were released.
“England topped the list in the 2023 mid-year period when it came to spending on transfer fees ($1.98 billion), the number of incoming transfers (449) and the number of outgoing transfers (514),” said Emilio García Silvero, FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer. As for Germany, they recorded the highest amount of income from transfers: €1.1 billion - a world first.
How much did the Saudi League and European Leagues spend?
But if one factor was decisive in breaking all the records, it was the entry of Saudi Arabia into the fold. With a total of $875.4 million, the Saudi Pro League occupies second place on the list only behind the Premier League but ahead of France ($859.7 million), Germany ($762.4 million), Italy ($711.0 million) and Spain ($405.6 million).
This is the first time that the clubs of a confederation other than UEFA, in this case that of Asia, have spent in excess of 10% of the total expense in the market. In addition, $696.6 million was spent in agent fees during the transfer period, which represents a new record.
Women’s football spending on the rise
As for women’s football, Emilio García added that “the number of transfers during the mid-year registration period also increased for the sixth year in a row, with 829 transfers, 66 of which were with fees. These are both new records, with +19.1% and +83.3% respectively.”
Europe registered 634 incoming and 565 outgoing transfers in women’s football. Specifically, Germany tops the list for incoming transfers carried out (55), while France ranks first in the number of players transferred out (53). Transfer expenses in women’s football, which have reached the historic figure of €3.0 million, have more than doubled compared to the 2022 period.