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CIES report lifts lid on football player inflation

February 23 2023 - News Release News Editorial

A report from the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) has revealed that the price of a player recruited by English Premier League clubs has risen more sharply that footballers hired elsewhere.

CIES report lifts lid on football player inflation

The CIES Football Observatory research team recently published its report on the inflation of player prices, which have increased at an annual rate of 9% over the last decade. 

A footballer that was paid €1m during the 2013-14 season would now cost €2.16m, which equates to an increase of 116% over the last 10 years.

Players in the Premier League have cost roughly 12.2% per year more annually compared to 8.4% in other countries. Centre backs, full backs and players aged 21 and under in particular have also seen a rise in prices. 

Inflation relating to centre backs has risen by 12.5% per annum, with full backs facing an 11.1% increase and those aged 21 and under seeing a rise of 12.7%. 

Overall, player prices increased at an annual rate of 13.8% between the 2013-14 and 2019-20 seasons, but then fell by -0.2% in the three seasons following the Covid-19 pandemic. After falling sharply in 2021-22, player prices resumed their growth for the current season, suggesting a return to record levels. 

In terms of investment, the total of €9.12bn measured in 2022-23 is the second-highest since the record season of 2019-20, according to the report. 

The rebound felt in 2021-22 after the pandemic-affected 2020-21 season has continued into the 2022-23 season, with a new record for a winter transfer window in January this year, driven by the spending from Premier League teams. 

Image: Nathan Rogers on Unsplash

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