After more than a year of caution, world football has returned to its financial habits: $1.03 billion (902 million euros) was spent in the January transfer window, up 74.7% compared to the January 2021 period in the midst of the health crisis.
For comparison, in 2020 and just before the pandemic, $1.16 billion was spent in January, compared to $1.1 billion in January 2019.
“In men’s football, the transfer market activity has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels,” FIFA said in a statement.
Unsurprisingly, England was the most spender, with its clubs spending 349.5 million dollars (306 million euros) compared to only 75.2 million (65.9 million euros) for the Ligue 1 clubs, for example.
On the other hand, France fared much better in terms of compensation to its clubs during this period due to the sale of players: French clubs received $99.2 million (86.9 million euros) in January, behind English clubs (95 million euros).
The world football body has also noticed an increase in the number of transfers in women’s football, even exceeding pre-Covid-19 standards. About $487,800 (€427,000) was spent on female players in January, a record that wiped out the previous figure of $310,100 (€272,000) last year.
And the European Union for the game (“UEFA”) announced in a report published last Thursday that the “Covid-19” epidemic cost European football 7 billion euros in two seasons, highlighting a sharp decline in the transfer market for the fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.