February 12, 2020 / 1:25 PM / in 12 days

Europe's 'Big Five' account for 71.8% of January transfer spend - FIFA

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - February 1, 2020 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Clubs in Europe’s top five member associations — England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France — accounted for 71.8% of fees spent globally during the 2020 January transfer window, world soccer governing body FIFA said on Wednesday.

A record 170 countries had the window open last month, with a total of 4,108 international transfers being completed.

Although clubs from the ‘Big Five’ accounted for only 14.1% of the total number of transfers, the fees that exchanged hands were 71.8% of the global spend.

Clubs in England spent $298.2 million (£229.7 million) in transfers — the highest in the world — followed by Germany ($206.1 million) and Italy ($126.7 million). The top flight leagues were responsible for 93.1% of the spending on international transfers.

Some of the high profile moves included Bruno Fernandes’ move from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United for an initial fee of 55 million euros ($60.01 million) while Borussia Dortmund signed young striker Erling Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg.

In all, the Big Five spent $824.6 million in January — second only to the 2018 January window when they spent $1.01 billion in total.

“Spending by clubs of the Big Five leagues seems to continue on the general growth path of the past years, playing a central role in the global transfer market,” FIFA’s chief legal officer Emilio Garcia said in a statement.

“It is FIFA’s duty to carefully monitor and report on those activities, providing greater transparency to the transfer system.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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