The new transfer fee system in professional soccer: An interdisciplinary study



Morris P, Morrow S & Spink P (2001) The new transfer fee system in professional soccer: An interdisciplinary study. Contemporary Issues in Law, 5 (4), pp. 253-281.

First paragraph: As the new millennium starts to unfold few would dispute the proposition that professional sport in general and soccer in particular is experiencing a rapid process of commercialisation which is so profound that the description “ big business” is far from an exaggeration. Sport now accounts for approximately 3 per cent of global trade and, of more direct relevance for the purposes of this article, the latest authoritative survey on the finances of English soccer clubs reveals that in season 1999-2000 they collectively generated in excess of £1billion in total revenues with a confident projection that the top 20 Premiership clubs may well, largely on the back of a lucrative new TV rights deal, generate total revenues of around £1.5 billion by season 2002-2003. While it will almost certainly be the case that an increasing proportion of these revenues will be accounted for by TV revenues, merchandising and sponsorship, transfer fee income and spending will doubtless continue to figure prominently in the world of soccer finance. First, despite Bosman and the further liberalisation of the transfer fee system which the ruling triggered, transfer fee spending spirals inexorably upwards: a total of £340 million during season 1999-2000 . Secondly, for the smaller clubs transfer fee receipts from Premier League clubs can be vital for financial survival in the context of a business environment where profits are rare and the bleak reality for many clubs is continual struggle to limit losses to tolerable levels.

Contemporary Issues in Law: Volume 5, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2001
PublisherLawtext Publishing