Global football’s governing body FIFA released its Global Transfer Report for 2022 on Thursday, revealing the dominance of English clubs in the transfer market and the growing professionalization of women’s football around the world.
Last year saw the market in men’s professional football almost return to pre-pandemic levels with a total spend of $6.5 billion, up from $4.86 billion in 2021. The 2022 figure remains short of the record set in 2019 of $7.35 billion.
Of that $6.5 billion figure, 12.5% was generated by the 10 most expensive deals of the year – including Real Madrid’s acquisition of Aurélien Tchouaméni from AS Monaco for a reported $84.12 million and Liverpool signing Darwin Nuñez from Benfica for a reported $78.59.
English clubs spent more than ever in 2022, with total outlay reaching $2.2 billion – the first time the figure has exceeded $2 billion. For context, the association with the second-largest outlay in 2022 was Italy at $673.3 million.
French clubs received the most money in transfer fees with $740.3 million.
The growth of women’s professional football is clear to see in the data. A record 119 associations took part in 1,555 transactions, a 19.3% increase in deals compared to 2021. The number of clubs involved in transfers also increased by 22%, from 410 in 2021 to 500 last year.
Total outlay on fees in the women’s professional game reached record levels in 2022, increasing by 62% to $3.3 million in 2022. The five biggest transfers of the year, topped by Keira Walsh’s move from Manchester City to Barcelona, made up more than a third of the total spending.
Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer, said: “All of this reflects the impressive strides being taken as more and more female players continue to turn professional.”