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SBD Global/September 3, 2014/International FootballPrint All
Radamel Falcao's loan move to ManU was the "major deadline day signing" as Premier League summer spending hit a record £835M ($1.38B), according to the BBC. The Colombian striker's £6M ($10M) switch, Daley Blind's £13.8M ($23M) move to ManU and the club's sale of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal for £16M ($26M) "helped set the new landmark." Overall deadline day spending was down £55M ($91M) to £85M ($140M) compared to '13. Deloitte said that ManU Manager Louis van Gaal's near £150M ($247M) spree was the "highest gross transfer spend in a single window by any club" (BBC, 9/2). In London, Thompson & Aglionby reported some of the "other biggest deals ahead of the final day" involved Liverpool -- "flush with cash" from offloading striker Luis Suárez to Barcelona for £75M ($124M) -- signing Adam Lallana from Southampton for £25M ($41M), Arsenal buying Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for £35M ($58M) and Chelsea paying Atlético Madrid £32M ($53M) for Diego Costa (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/2). The BBC reported in a separate piece "almost two thirds of the money spent by Premier League clubs this season" has gone to foreign teams, with £305M ($502M) staying in England. The figure of 63% is "considerably lower than last year," however, when "78% of the total spend went abroad." Barcelona signed Suarez, but English teams were "busy buying some of the best that Spanish football has to offer." BBC World Service's Steve Crossman said, "It's the second season in a row that the single most expensive deal in the summer transfer window has seen a player leave the Premier League for La Liga. At least it's a two-way street. The top three clubs in Spain all lost a major player to the Premier League over the summer." Outside the EPL, La Liga led the way for the continent with a total outlay of £425M ($701M). Next was Italy's Serie A with £260M ($429M), followed by the Bundesliga with £250M ($412M) and Ligue 1 -- with Paris St. Germain and Monaco "cutting back with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules in mind" -- spending £100M ($165M) (BBC, 9/2).
INCREASED BROADCAST REVENUE: BLOOMBERG's Danielle Rossingh reported Deloitte Sports Business Group partner Dan Jones said, "We continue to see the increased resources that Premier League clubs enjoy, as a result of improved broadcast deals, translate into investment in players." On average, Premier League clubs received more than £25M more "from broadcast deals last season" compared to '12-13. Deloitte said that ManU accounted for 18% of the aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs (BLOOMBERG, 9/2).
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: In London, Craig Hope reported in two hours after the "passing of deadline day at 11pm," Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa was able to "dive head first through the opening at Hull City, and Radamel Falcao to slip underneath the frame at Old Trafford." It is explained "just how clubs can get round the deadline to sign players." Can "you just sign a player" at 11:30pm? No -- "a 'deal sheet' must be submitted to the Premier League before 11pm." So, "in effect, that is still the deadline for all parties agreeing to a transfer and putting their approval to a sheet which says it is going to happen." If the EPL has this by 11pm, "then they will grant an extension to finalise all other paperwork" (DAILY MAIL, 9/2).
LIGUE 1 LOSSES: ESPN's Julien Laurens wrote this summer, Ligue 1 has "given massively." Monaco has gone from "spending millions to austerity; PSG are tied up by Financial Fair Play; Marseille had to sell before buying; Lille have been cautious; Rennes have gone for quantity (10 players from nine different nationalities); Lyon are broke and the others have not much left in the bank, either." So it was "always going to be a much busier window in terms of outs than ins." Ligue 1 "played the role of a feeder league this summer, and a lot of top European clubs have picked up a bargain." An "incredible amount of talent has left Ligue 1 this summer, but the two biggest names to have departed stand out: James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao." After "just one season at Monaco, the former joined Real Madrid" and the latter ManU (on loan). Everybody knew that they would "not spend their whole life in the Principality but it is still disappointing to see them leave, especially Falcao and especially the way he did it" (ESPN, 9/2).
EPL'S INFLUX: REUTERS' Ossian Shine reported ManU "haemorrhaged" almost £150M in the last few weeks. The "huge spending has given new Dutch manager Louis van Gaal an embarrassment of riches with which to fix his team's on-pitch struggles, even though critics suggest the money could have been spent a little more wisely." Liverpool, too, "leaned heavily on their history and spending power to lure one of the biggest names" to Anfield, snapping up Mario Balotteli from AC Milan "for what is these days a paltry" £16M ($26.4M). More than anything, "the pipeline of footballing talent flowing from the biggest leagues around the world into Britain underlines the attraction of the Premier League rather than simply the clubs' financial might" (REUTERS, 9/2).
IN SPAIN: In Madrid, Danielle Grasso reported Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid "dominated" La Liga in terms of roster investments. There is an "abyss between the three giants and the other clubs when compared with the situation in other top leagues." Of all the money spent, "eight of every 10 euros" came from Real, Barcelona or Atlético. Those three "ate up 80% of the signing market, a situation only outdone in Europe by Greece and Portugal." Of the "richest leagues -- in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy -- the French had the distribution that was closest, but not at the level of Spain." Individually, Real, Atlético and Barcelona accounted for 35%, 25% and 23%, respectively, of the money spent on signing new players in La Liga (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 9/2). In Madrid, Rafa P. Eymar reported the "financial crisis squeezed more than ever before the Spanish second division." This was "confirmed by the amount spent on the transfer market." Of the second tier's 22 clubs, only three "scraped their pockets to get stronger ahead of the season that just began." The most expensive signing was Real Betis's acquisition of Alfred N'Diaye from EPL Sunderland for €3.5M ($4.6M) (AS, 9/2).
Austria's top two football divisions "welcomed a total of 198 new players during the summer transfer period," according to the KURIER. That "was the highest number of new player acquisitions since the '10-11 season." The second-division clubs "accounted for 109 of those players." The number "equaled an increase of 35% in comparison to last season." The "most active club on the transfer market was newly promoted second-division side LASK with 19 new players." In the top flight, "it was defending champion Red Bull Salzburg with 15 new acquisitions." However, the club "also sold more players than any other team with 19" (KURIER, 9/2).
Could boycotting the 2018 World Cup be more effective at persuading Russian President Vladimir Putin "than an increasingly long list of economic sanctions?," ask Spiegel & Oliver of the FINANCIAL TIMES. For the first time since the Ukraine crisis began nine months ago, EU diplomats "are actively considering the idea." According to an options paper circulated in European capitals on Tuesday, the EU "is considering whether to recommend suspending Russia from 'high-profile international cultural, economic or sporting events' including Formula One races, European football competitions and the next World Cup, awarded to Russia in 2010." Diplomats said that a boycott of the World Cup "would not be among the new sanctions to be agreed by the end of the week." But during a meeting of EU ambassadors on Monday, several delegations -- particularly Estonia and Lithuania -- "showed great enthusiasm for the idea." A Latvian diplomat said, "This kind of discussion is timely, as we do not see good will from Russian side." Mujtaba Rahman, head of European analysis at the Eurasia Group risk consultancy, said, "Boycotting a prestigious international sports event has a distinctively Cold War feel to it. This will sting the Russians far more than anything the EU will do on finance this round." FIFA "has already come out against moving the 2018 World Cup," arguing shortly after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that "boycotting sport events ... are not the most effective ways to solve problems" (FT, 9/2).
Australian Football League side Port Adelaide has been assured by its apparel manufacturer ISC that a "fresh batch of AFL-standard jumpers can be produced in just five days, clearing the path for the Power to wear its traditional black-and-white prison bar guernsey in Sunday's elimination final clash with Richmond" (THE AGE, 9/2). ... The Indian Super League "promises to revolutionise the country's football scene like never before" but the All India Football Federation on Monday maintained that its "poorer and older cousin, I-League, continues to be the mainstay of the sport" (PTI, 9/1).