222 million euros: Anyone who is at least a little interested in football has heard of this incredibly large number. The French football club Paris Saint-Germain is said to have paid FC Barcelona this much money in the summer of 2017 to sign the player Neymar. If you wanted to use that money to buy three scoops of ice cream a day, you would have had to live millions of years before the dinosaurs died out to spend all that.
Players and clubs conclude a contract with each other that regulates how long the footballer should play for this club. When the contract ends, the player can move to another club without his current club receiving anything in return. This is then a free transfer or transfer. If the player wants to change clubs before the end of the contract, the previous club gets money from the new one so that they agree. Sometimes that’s an incredible amount.
A lot of people don’t think it’s right that so much money is now being spent on a single player in football in this way. They say that sport has lost touch with reality. Or that a single player could never be worth that much money. Under certain circumstances, this can be worthwhile for clubs. You can also earn a lot with the big superstars. And clubs may win more games with them on the team than without them.
The fact that more and more money can be spent on transfers is because there is so much interest in football. The clubs are earning more and more from advertising, TV broadcasts and everything that fans buy around the games. But there are big differences between the individual leagues and clubs: Because people around the world particularly like to watch the English Premier League, for example, television stations pay English clubs much more to be able to broadcast their games than German clubs, for example. Others are backed by investors. Clubs like Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, for example, get a lot of money from countries like Abu Dhabi or Qatar because they want to gain power and influence in sport. This is also heavily criticized because the human rights situation in these countries is much worse than here in Germany, for example.
The fact that some clubs have more money at their disposal than others has a major impact on the international football transfer market. Because they can spend more on the best players, the prices go up. The statistics show that in 2011 clubs around the world spent 2.08 billion euros on players. In 2019 it was 6.54 billion euros. Spending has more than tripled in just eight years. That’s according to a report released earlier this year by Fifpro, an organization that represents the interests of professional soccer players around the world.