Football

EPL leads the way in spending on foreign players

England is dominating the international transfer market in terms of spending on overseas players, a new Fifa report has shown.

More than £770million ($1.58billion) was spent by English clubs on players from abroad — £308million (67 per cent) more than nearest rivals Spain.

The figures are contained in the Fifa TMS Global Transfer Market 2015 report which also highlights the fact that Spain continues to be the biggest market for signing players aged under 18 from abroad — a fact given extra relevance considering Barcelona’s transfer ban for signing minors in breach of the rules and the Fifa investigation into Real Madrid over similar alleged offences.

The report shows English clubs are the biggest-spenders in the world on international transfers making up more than a quarter of the total £2.64billion spent worldwide in 2014. The figures included the £59.7million British transfer record signing of Angel di Maria by Manchester United from Real Madrid.

Catching up

Brazil is the most active country in terms of international transfers with 1,335 moves (incoming and outgoing) — but it has experienced a seven per cent drop since 2013 and England is closing in with a total of 1,263 international transfers, up 193, with Portugal third with 823.

The report for the first time includes details of the international transfer of players aged under 18. Strict rules govern such transfers, such as the parents of the player involved having moved countries “for non-football reasons”.

The report states: “In 2014, Spain was the country that engaged the highest number of minors. 400 minor applications were submitted, and 352 were accepted. This is... a much higher number than any other association worldwide.”

Portugal made 188 applications and England 135.

Better

Mark Goddard, general manager of Fifa TMS, told a conference call: “It is important to note that the more minor applications the better. We are happy to see they are putting in so many applications — that’s what they should be doing.”

Barcelona have a transfer ban until next year after they breached regulations when signing 10 players under the age of 18 in 2013.

Real Madrid said in a statement this week that Fifa had asked for information about 51 under-age players but that they had complied with all the rules.

- PA Sport.

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