Transfer fees are at an all time high this summer with increased TV money flowing into the Premier League following a new deal with Sky and BT Sport who have agreed a £5.1 billon deal for the rights to show domestic football over the next 3 years. Throw in the overseas rights and you’re looking at a total cost to show games coming in nearly at £8 billon. It’s mid July, pre season is in full swing and the transfer rumours are flying around for example:
Leroy Sane – Schalke 04 to Barcelona, Man City or Bayern Munich
Leonardo Bonnuci – Juventus to Man City
John Stones – Everton to Man City
Andre Gomes – Valencia to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea or Manchester United
Now all the players listed above are examples of guys who have been linked with moves away from their current clubs for £50 million or more and this has got me thinking. Back in the day Zinedine Zidane left Juventus and joined the Galaticos at Real Madrid for £46.6 million. Zidane is a true legend by definition, one of the best to ever play the game and will be remembered for years to come yet these boys above are getting sold for a higher figure than this guy. Another example from that era is Luis Figo. Divided opinions when he made the controversial move between arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid. £49 million for another legend of that time but can we really put Figo and his midfield partner in crime Zidane in the same ilk as Sane and Andre Gomes?
Yes these fees were commanded 15, 16 years ago and I agree times have changed in football within that time period but is there that much money in the game where you are throwing £50 million about for a couple of players with potential to be something special but not really proven themselves and a guy who’s has good season with Valencia and has won the Euros? Is there no value for money these days or are clubs just spending silly money trying to attract decent players to their team because they have got the cash to burn? You could talk all day about transfer fees that have been mentioned over the last couple weeks or even last few years with moves for Raheem Sterling, Hulk, James Rodriguez and David Luiz coming to mind.
I for one would like to know what defines a £50 million player these days. Is it paying for potential, a big name into your domestic league, signing him off a good tournament, a goalscorer/solid centre back or are we talking a superstar type player? That question I believe that needs to be answered to give us fans a clearer view on why our clubs spent this amount of money. Yes we aren’t going to get a Zidane or Figo for this price these days as we seen with the Bale and Ronaldo sales in recent years but surely it can’t be at the stage where you’re showing a glimmer of talent and that figure is getting talked about as a transfer fee.
This is the start of a three year deal with the TV money being involved and I’m not sure what impact this will have on the game going forward but one thing I do know if that these players will just get dearer and dearer. £150 million transfer fee and £400,000 a week anyone?
Post by Derek Mcallister – writer for Footballs11blog