Football: Player transfers worldwide hit $5b last year, with English clubs biggest spenders

The global football transfer market h in 2014, which included Manchester United's £59.7 million (S$124 million) fee for winger Angel Di Maria, hit a record high, breaking the 3.5 billion euros (S$5.3 billion) barrier for the first time, a report pub
The global football transfer market h in 2014, which included Manchester United's £59.7 million (S$124 million) fee for winger Angel Di Maria, hit a record high, breaking the 3.5 billion euros (S$5.3 billion) barrier for the first time, a report published by Fifa on Wednesday revealed. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LAUSANNE (AFP) - The global football transfer market hit a record high in 2014, breaking the 3.5 billion euros (S$5.3 billion) barrier for the first time, a report published by Fifa on Wednesday revealed.

England, with its highly lucrative Premier League, provided the biggest investors and, despite their failure at the World Cup, Brazilian players were the most sought-after.

A total of 13,000 players moved between clubs but the combined total of 3.57 billion euros in transfer fees does not include the commissions paid to their agents.

The total was 2.1 per cent up from 2013, according to Fifa TMS which monitors all deals.

A staggering 87 per cent of all the money which changed hands was spent by European clubs.

English clubs were the world's biggest spenders, whose outlay represented more than a quarter of global spending last year.

Brazilian clubs were the most active in the market, recording 646 incoming transfers and 689 outgoing transfers.

For the first time, China broke into the top 10 investing countries.

The average age of players transferred during the year was 25 years and 6 months.