Premier League players enjoy biggest slice of booming transfer market as English spending hits $996m

Joe Hall
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Andre Ayew arrived at Swansea on a free transfer and has been an immediate hit (Source: Getty)

Another record-breaking transfer window closed last week with typically huge sums splashed out by cash-rich Premier League clubs on new signings from abroad - yet it is the players themselves and not the selling clubs who benefit most from the booming market.

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A new study from the Fifa Transfer Matching System (TMS) found that 57 per cent of all funds circulated in the international transfer market since 2013 ended up in players' pockets through wages.

In contrast, transfer fees themselves accounted for just 41 per cent of funds circulated in the period while agents' commissions made up the remaining two per cent.

Individual players' salaries are usually kept tightly under wraps by Premier League clubs, but Fifa TMS (the international matchmaker used by teams to register transfers with Fifa) has produced a report for the industry detailing salary figures for all international transfers (not including deals between two clubs from the same country) for the first time.

Fifa TMS general manager Mark Goddard said:

Most of the transfers discussed in the media involve large transfer fees, but in reality, only 13 per cent of all worldwide transfers involve the payment of a fee. Salaries, though, are part of every single contract.

In 2014 alone, clubs and players signed contracts for $6.02bn, which added to the $4.07bn in transfer fees and $238m in intermediaries' commissions make the total value of these transfers a staggering $10.33bn.

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The Premier League's financial might - aided by broadcasting deals that dwarve other European leagues' - has allowed even traditionally mid-table clubs such as Stoke and Crystal Palace to buy renowned players from European giants such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Fifa TMS found that English clubs spent a total of $996m on international transfers this summer - more than double any other country.

Spanish clubs spent $495m - a decrease of 23 per cent compared to last year - while French spending rose by 65 per cent to $270m.

Collectively, Europe's top five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) spent $2.4bn this summer. Since 2013, 80 per cent of total salaries committed in the context of international transfers came from clubs within Uefa.

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