Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo transfer to Real Madrid an example of abusive transfer system, argues players' union Fifpro

Joe Hall
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Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid transfer
Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m in 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo's 2009 move from Real Madrid to Manchester United demonstrates the unfair nature of football's current transfer system, argues players' union Fifpro.

United received £80m for Ronaldo, but the smaller clubs where he started his career received a relative pittance in comparison.

Fifpro, who have filed a legal complaint against Fifa's current transfer system with the European Commission, found that Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo played before United, received £10m as part of the deal, while his first ever club Andorinha received two sets of kit and 20 footballs.

Read more: Football's transfer system unfair and failing, argues report

In contrast, third-party investors, banks and agents received £18.9m in fees related to the then-record transfer.

The union argues: "This example highlights once again what research has proven to be an undeniable reality, that transfer fees only circulate among a small group of elite clubs, agents and third parties."

Fifpro today released a report commissioned to sports economist Stefan Szymanski which concluded that the transfer system was unfair and uncompetitive.

Szymanski wrote: "It [the Fifa transfer system] sustains the dominance of elite clubs by ensuring that they are the only ones with the financial muscle to afford the transfer fees payable for the very best players."

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