February 23, 2017
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Annual fees reached one billion pounds in Premier League

Annual fees reached one billion pounds in Premier League


France midfielder Paul Pogba annual fees reached one billion pounds in Premier League 2016 – 17

The projected move of France midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus back to Manchester United for a world record one hundred million pounds ($132.3 million) would take spending by the 20 teams to almost 600m, adding to the 175m recorded by accountancy firm Deloitte in the January window.With one month of the transfer window left remaining, Premier League clubs are poised to push escalating fees closer to another new record this week.

Last year was the first in which annual fees reached one billion pounds.

Football Soccer - Germany v France - EURO 2016 - Semi Final - Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France - 7/7/16 France's Paul Pogba celebrates at the end of the match REUTERS/Michael Dalder Livepic

So far this close-season Arsenal — criticised in the past by many supporters for not spending enough — have recorded the highest individual outlay by paying 35 million pounds for Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka.But Pogba’s proposed return to Old Trafford would dwarf that and all other sums in the history of the sport, smashing the world record of 85.3 million pounds that Real Madrid paid for Wales forward Gareth Bale three years ago.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is among those who are bemused by how high fees have risen but still believes there is no longer any limit.“Since I’ve been in the sport I always thought it can’t go any higher up and I’ve always been wrong,” he told reporters.“Maybe it will be 200 or 300m, who knows?”

Trevor Francis, the first million-pound player in English football back in 1979, said he was surprised the new world record might be set by a midfield player.“I really thought if (100m) was paid, it was going to be for a striker who could be a match-winner and probably provide you with 30 goals a season,” he told BBC Radio.“Possibly the only two I thought could command that figure were Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi because people realise they are exceptional talents that will go down in the history of the game.”

With a lucrative new broadcasting deal coming into effect this season and new managers taking over at Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs, it is perhaps not surprising that a spending spree has materialised.Under Antonio Conte, Italy’s head coach at Euro 2016, Chelsea paid more than 30 million pounds for beach of Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi and Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante.

The fee for Kante, who helped Leicester become surprise Premier League champions, clearly illustrated football’s inflation rate — a year ago the midlands club paid barely one-sixth as much for him.Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was always likely to spend big in attempting to revive Manchester United, with Pogba expected to become his fourth major signing.Ironically, the most exciting of them could be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who arrived on a free transfer from Paris St Germain and scored a spectacular goal on Saturday four minutes into his debut.

Pep Guardiola, having already spent 35 million pounds at Manchester City, was reported by British media on Sunday to be on the verge of almost doubling that by signing German forward Leroy Sane from Schalke 04.At the other end of the spectrum, Burnley and managerless Hull City, two of the newly promoted clubs, have hardly begun recruiting.

Once they do over the next 31 days, the amount of money shelled out will only increase.


Radical changes threaten Europe club football

A new breakaway Champions League remains a serious option ahead of crunch talks over potentially radical changes to the structure of European club football.The global popularity of the English Premier League is continuing to alarm clubs across other major leagues, which are increasingly looking to European competition as their area of revenue growth.Meetings have been held to discuss options which, as well as a new tournament, would become more concentrated between the most marketable clubs in Europe.Several documents have been circulating with proposals that range from a completely new competition to tweaks to the existing one. It is understood that one proposal is to create a single expanded European competition that would guarantee at least six places for the biggest leagues.Dalian Wanda Group, the property and entertainment conglomerate of billionaire Wang Jianlin, has denied pushing for a new competition but did admit to talks designed to “explore ways in which sports and business can be further developed”.

Italian and Spanish clubs are leading the push for the widest-ranging overhaul. The English and the German clubs are relatively relaxed.The EPL’s new £5.14-billion broadcast deal already dwarfs the money on offer in other leagues, with its allure evident in the appointments of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Jürgen Klopp.The Champions League has struggled to keep pace with the EPL’s revenue growth. Last season, for example, Real Madrid earned less from winning an 11th European Cup than the top 11 English teams from their involvement in the Premier League.That gap is expected to grow further in the current broadcast cycle from 2016.


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