Investors buy player shares

CASH-STRAPPED clubs selling off players’ transfer rights as an alternative to taking bank loans has become a growing trend in Europe, according to a report by KPMG Europe’s Spanish division.

The practice of third-party ownership is being undertaken by clubs including Champions League competitors Porto and Atletico Madrid, according to the report, which also states investors have acquired stakes in 1,100 players worth around £918m.

Such investments are banned in the Premier League after it was found West Ham did not hold the economic rights to Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, following their surprise arrival at Upton Park in 2006.