English clubs surpass $2bn transfer spend for first time in 2022

English soccer clubs spent over $2 billion on new signings in 2022 for the first time, FIFA’s Global Trans­fer Report revealed on Thursday, with the number of international transfers of male and female play­ers reaching record numbers.

There were 20 209 internation­al transfers in men’s professional soccer in 2022, representing an

 increase of 11.6 per cent com­pared to 2021 and even exceeding the levels of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of the 2,843 transfers that included fees, the top 100 were responsible for almost 50 per cent of all money spent, with English clubs again topping the list. For the first time, their total outlay exceeded $2 billion, reaching a record high of almost $2.2 billion.

“The two-year negative trend in clubs’ spending on transfer fees was turned around in 2022, with last year’s total outlay reach­ing $6.5bn, an increase of 33.5 per cent compared to 2021, yet still below the all-time high of 2019,” Emilio Garcia Silvero, FI­FA’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer, said.

Women’s professional football continued to grow in 2022. The number of international transfers last year was almost double the figure of 2018.

In 2022, the number of clubs involved in international transfers went up from 410 in 2021 to 500 last year, a 22 per cent increase,” Silvero said.

“All of this reflects the impressive strides being taken as more and more female players continue to turn professional. Some 1,555 international trans­fers were recorded in 2022, an increase of 19.3 per cent com­pared to the previous year, while a new high of 119 associations were involved in international transfers.” —Reuters

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