Skip to main content

Record transfer window comes to close

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Simon Chadwick, Professor of sports enterprise at the University of Salford, an expert in football transfers, comments as a record transfer window slams shut. For the first time clubs have spent over £1bn during the summer.

Professor Chadwick said: “This transfer window was always likely to be the first to break the billion pound mark, principally due to the Premier League's new television deal coming into effect. This record breaking deal has obviously manifested itself in several ways, ranging from Manchester United breaking the world transfer fee record to the likes of Middlesbrough spending heavily in an attempt to preserve their Premier League status.

“Alternatively stated, the massive new television deal has created a high stakes game that many clubs are locked into - their participation at the top of the game and their financial futures are, in many ways, on the line. What has been additionally significant about this window more generally is the increased spending power of the continental European clubs. The Milan clubs, Inter and AC, have new Chinese owners which has enabled them to be rather more active in the market than they have been in recent years. We have also seen FC Barcelona spending heavily in an attempt to regain some lost ground following their recent transfer ban. And there has been the continuing rise and rise of the super agents and agencies, both of which have been major beneficiaries of a rapidly overheating football labour market.

“Many people keep asking whether the football bubble will burst any time soon, but with television rights values continuing to grow and with emerging football nations like China also actively engaged in a programme of football investment, we shouldn't expect player transfer fees and salaries to fall in the short- to medium-term. With a limited pool of talented labour available, now more than at any other point in history is a great time to be a talented footballer or one of their representatives - these men are like the new emperors of the 21st century.

“What is also striking about this year's window is the amount of talent being loaned out by bigger clubs. Such is the power and the strength of some clubs, that they can afford to buy up talent in order to exercise some control over the market as well as over players and a club's playing rivals. Hence, we have seen the likes of Joe Hart leaving Manchester City on loan, as well as Jack Wilshere and Callum Chambers (all of them England internationals) being made available for loan. It's a cut throat market: performance expectations are high, yet clubs are loathe to let talent leave for fear of them losing someone who may ultimately go on to become a valuable asset. The case of Paul Pogba and Manchester United is a prime example of this.”

Find out more

Sam Wood

0161 295 5361