Manchester City has spent almost €1 billion in transfer indemnities to sign its present squad members (add-ons included). This obscene figure is the highest figure ever measured for a football team. The CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the data for all of the big-5 league teams in Europe.
Seven English Premier League teams are in the 11 top positions of the table. The biggest increase compared to last year was measured for Liverpool (from €437M to €704M). The Spanish giants (Barcelona and Real Madrid), Juventus and Paris St-Germain (2nd overall) are the only non-English teams in the top 11. The best-ranked German Bundesliga club, Bayern Munich, is 12th.
Total transfer expenditure to make up the squad for clubs from the five major European leagues went constantly up during the last decade. In 2010, a big-5 league had spent on average €67M to sign its squad members. In 2018, this figure reached a new record high of €161M. During the same period, the amounts invested to assemble the squad by English Premier League clubs went up from €126M to €326M.
The Premier League, whose member clubs are owned by financial oligarchs, currently has the highest percentage of foreign players of any league in the world, at 69.2 per cent.
Currently, a battle is going on between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, one that is affecting international football as well. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia wants to take the World Cup away from Qatar in 2022. The “Foundation for Sports Integrity” was launched in a lavish setting in London in May with buzz words about “transparency” and “corruption” that made several participants ask about the source of the money. Two of them were Andreas Selliaas and Jan Jensen*, who have tried to track the secret backers of the new initiative. Jim Waterson of the Guardian also weighs in with additional facts. Interestingly, with regard to awarding the FIFA World Cup 2026, which was announced later in Moscow in July, Saudi Arabia backed the winning, so-called “United” bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico, while Qatar backed the Morocco bid.
Panel discussion at the FFSI conference | Andreas Selliaas
(London, Updated 28 June) – The Foundation for Sports Integrity (FFSI) was launched at the fashionable Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square in London on 31 May. The founder of the FFSI is Jaimie Fuller, the Chairman of SKINS, one of the persons behind the initiative New FIFA Now and a familiar face to those attending Play the Game conferences.
Only three new clubs enter this season’s Champions League, the latest edition of the Diversity Index shows and also reveals that the current prizing system fuels competitive imbalances and domestic hegemony.
The 2018/19 edition of the UEFA Champions League will see the competition move nearer to a closed league as the number of clubs making their debut dwindles to just three. Continue reading
AP (Aug. 15) – Justifying an overhaul of its ethics code, FIFA asserted Tuesday that people who “tarnish the reputations of others” must be banned from soccer.
The Associated Press revealed Monday that a new offence of defamation had been added to the document governing the conduct of participants in soccer, with scope for a ban of up to five years from the game. Continue reading
(Aug. 17) – The Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League will honour the history of the sport by flying an Iroquois flag at all home games from now on.
SaskTel Centre, the Rush’s home arena, hosted the world junior indoor lacrosse championship from Aug. 8 to 12.
The Iroquois, who invented the sport of lacrosse, compete internationally as a separate team and brought their distinctive purple-and-white flag to the event. Continue reading