The number of international football transfers and their cost has plummeted over the past six months, according to data from governing body Fifa’s Transfer Matching System (TMS).
There have been nine per cent fewer transfer deals completed, and their financial value has fallen by just over a third, it said.
Over 11,500 international transfers were recorded by TMS last year – an average of one every 45 minutes.
A total of $2.46bn (£1.58bn) was declared in the system as transfer compensation last year, while the past six months have included only 4,973 transfers at a total income of $576m (£371m).
TMS was introduced over four years ago, and the online procedure has now fully replaced the outdated paper-and-ink transfers process. It ensures that both clubs involved submit identical details, including player, payment and contractual information.
It was designed to increase the transparency of these international transfers, and to keep an eye on clubs under Uefa’s new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
These look set to reduce the number of clubs in debt, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll also reduce the number of transfers.
These rules will come into effect on 1 June, and aim to ensure that clubs only spend cash they have earned, rather than money they’ve received as a loan or as a gift from wealthy owners.
Separately, the Deloitte Football Money League report found that seven of the top 20 revenue-generating clubs experienced a drop in earnings last season, mostly due to less successful on-pitch performances.