The best performing clubs are more prone to sign a higher portion of players abroad to maximize their investments.
Football can be examined from different sides. The result on the field remains the most important factor, the one that makes the difference. But financial aspects are increasingly more important nowadays than ever before.
In this case, we talk about the approach undertaken at the league level which is definitely relevant when studying how top-flight clubs spend on the transfer market.
CIES football observatory recently analyzed this approach and the outcome is very interesting. As they stated, “between July 2005 and August 2017, three out of the five clubs studied signed a majority of players from abroad.”
The clubs under consideration were Real Madrid, PSG, Roma, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United. Let’s talk about numbers and percentages though. The Spanish giants purchased 73% of its players from abroad, PSG 58%, and Roma 56%.
Bayern Munich and Manchester United, instead, respectively made ‘only’ 46% and 45% of international acquisitions.
The main reason why these clubs are investing their money in this way is primarily amendable to their need to compete at high level domestically and internationally. Although these clubs are spending more due to the inflated international market of players, this strategy is less risky. In fact, players acquired already proved themselves in the most competitive European leagues. By filling their rosters with quality and expert players, top clubs have higher chances to qualify for important international competitions such as the Champions League. It’s well known that the UCL provides higher revenues.
Visibility is an important aspect to be analyzed. Clubs tour around the world to get more of that and strengthen their brand. By doing so, they position themselves for attracting sponsors.
Another interesting factor is that, as stated by ‘CIES football observatory’, “Brazil is the only non-EU country where the five clubs investigated signed at least five players during the 12-year period analyzed.” Why? Probably because of the highly adaptable technical skills of the Brazilian talents.