Thursday 18 January 2018

Top-end transfers from Europe's top 20 clubs could consistently exceed £100m by 2025

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar poses with a ball during his presentation to the fans at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 5, 2017. Brazil superstar Neymar will watch from the stands as Paris Saint-Germain open their season on August 5, 2017, but the French club have already clawed back around a million euros on their world record investment. Neymar, who signed from Barcelona for a mind-boggling 222 million euros ($264 million), is presented to the PSG support prior to his new team's first game of the Ligue 1 campaign against promoted Amiens. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar poses with a ball during his presentation to the fans at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 5, 2017. Brazil superstar Neymar will watch from the stands as Paris Saint-Germain open their season on August 5, 2017, but the French club have already clawed back around a million euros on their world record investment. Neymar, who signed from Barcelona for a mind-boggling 222 million euros ($264 million), is presented to the PSG support prior to his new team's first game of the Ligue 1 campaign against promoted Amiens. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole

Transfers involving Europe's top 20 ranked clubs could consistently exceed £100 million by the 2024/25 season according to a new report from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PwC has tracked every transfer involving the top 20 ranked UEFA clubs from 2001 to the current window, in addition to the 20 largest deals by these clubs in each season.

The company has found that the average fee for the largest 20 transfers is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% to reach £65m by the 2024/25 season, while fees at the very top end of the market will pass the £100m level more regularly.

Commenting on the findings, Philip Shepherd, partner in PwC’s Sports & Leisure practice, said:

“Our analysis indicates that by 2025, £100m transfers will be more prevalent as spending continues to follow the escalating growth of club revenues.

"The record-breaking sale of Neymar this summer  is a unique case, at five times the average price of the next 20 biggest transfers so far this summer. 

"Historically the range for the world record transfer has been between 2.5-3 times the average of the next 20 largest fees.

"On this basis, we would have expected to see a record transfer fee at the level of the reported fee for Neymar in around 5-7 years’ time.”

Jonathan Blausten, senior consultant in PwC’s Sports & Leisure practice, added:

“Our analysis raises some interesting questions around the relationship between transfer spend and revenue.

"In the past three to four seasons revenue has grown consistently at 3% per annum faster than average transfer fees, driven primarily by the fast-growing media rights deals and large sponsorship deals reflecting the continuing globalisation of European football.

"This suggests many clubs aren’t fully flexing their muscles in the transfer market yet and we would not be surprised to see a step change in fees at the top of the market.”

PWC's analysis did not include Neymar's £198m move from Barcelona to PSG earlier this month, however, clubs in Europe's top five leagues - Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Calcio A - have spent a combined £3.17bn this summer on 1298 deals.

The Premier League alone has spent £1.21bn on 339 deals, surpassing its previous record of £1.18bn from last summer.

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