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Manchester United leads overspending table

Issue number 389 of the Weekly Post assesses paying fee transfer operations carried out by current big-5 league clubs since July 2012.

The study compares players’ values prior to transfer, estimated according to the exclusive CIES Football Observatory’s statistical model, and fees actually paid.

This allows us to highlight clubs having most driven inflation up, with Manchester United heading the rankings.

Manchester United’s total investment for the 33 fee paying transfers assessed in the study was €238M greater than the estimated value of players concerned: €1.59 vs €1.36 billion (+18%).

Juventus (€233 M, +29%) and Paris St-Germain (€162M, +19%) complete the overspending table’s podium.

Only three Premier League teams figure among the 36 clubs that invested less money than expected to conclude the fee-paying deals assessed. This confirms their key role in driving up inflation on the transfer market.

Deals concluded by triggering buy-out or option-to-buy clauses were not included in the sample analysed.

Only 86 current big-5 league clubs for which we were able to assess at least ten fee-paying transfers figure in the rankings.

More information about the CIES Football Observatory’s scientific method to assess players’ transfer values and fees is available in this open access peer review paper.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group created in 2005 within the Swiss-based Centre International d’Étude du Sport (CIES). It specialises in the statistical analysis of football, in particular in the areas of demographics, transfer values and performance.

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About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel.

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CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport

Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone +41 32 718 39 00
Fax +41 32 718 39 01


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