LAUSANNE • The coronavirus pandemic which has caused football around the world to grind to a halt will also have a major impact on the transfer market value of players in Europe's leading leagues, according to a study published on Monday.
The total market value of players in Europe's "Big Five" leagues - the top flights in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France - will suffer a drop of 28 per cent, to €23.4 billion (S$36.6 billion) from €32.7 billion, if no more matches are played this season and contracts set to expire in June are not renewed.
The study is the result of research by the Football Observatory at the Swiss-based International Centre for Sports Studies, which had in recent years developed algorithms to determine the most valuable players in world football and also the most expensive squads ever assembled in history.
"The extent of the decrease varies according to several factors such as the players' age, contract duration, career path and recent performance," the study says.
Older players on relatively short contracts who have played fewer games this season than last are especially affected.
It gives the example of Manchester United's French star Paul Pogba, who is out of contract next year and whose market value is set to be cut almost in half, to €35 million.
The 27-year-old midfielder had played only eight matches all season owing to his ankle injuries.
United had in 2016 re-signed Pogba - a player from their academy - from Juventus in a then world-record fee of €110 million.
The study also estimates that Manchester City would see a total of €412 million wiped off the market value of their players, more than any other club in the leading five leagues.
Just behind them are Barcelona, who would lose €366 million from the value of their squad, and Liverpool (€353 million).
City are, however, only 23rd in terms of percentage losses, with 30.3 per cent.
Ligue 1 outfit Marseille top the list with their squad value dropping by 37.9 per cent, from €256 million to €159 million.
Serie A side Inter Milan are second, dropping 35.7 per cent from €773 million to €497 million.