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Why are English prices so ridiculously high?

Saturday 17th June 2017
Championship clubs have sold players for £30 million or more in two successive summers. The Bundesliga has done it ten times in history. Why are English prices so ridiculously high?
As the summer transfer window rolls on, what is becoming excruciatingly clear is that the landscape of modern football has changed dramatically from even two or three seasons ago. When eyebrows were raised whenever a player was signed for north of £30 million, nowadays, it rarely garners a batted eyelid.

What is especially noticeable about the rising prices of recent years, is that English clubs - the argument usually pertains to just players, but the issues stem further than just players, and applies to clubs also - are often paying a premium in the market, especially for players who have oh so precious experience of the Premier League, Championship or lower divisions.

In the past two summers, Championship clubs have sold a player for £30 million or more - Jordan Pickford to Everton this summer and Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham Hotspur last summer. That is a remarkable statistic. To further contextualise that, Bundesliga clubs have sold players for £30 million or more just 10 ten times, and that includes Julian Draxler on two different occasions.

The other eight players to be sold from a Bundesliga club for more than £30 million consists of Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Granit Xhaka, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Roberto Firmino, Mario Gotze, Edin Dzeko and Mats Hummels. Moreover, here have only been seven different occasions where a player has been signed by a Bundesliga club for over £30 million. That includes the aforementioned Draxler transfer to Wolfsburg from Werder Bremen, Corentin Tolisso's recent move from Lyon to Bayern Munich, and Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal, Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches moves to Bayern Munich. In fact, of the seven signings by German clubs over £30 million, Bayern Munich have made six of them.

Contrast that to the Premier League, where 46 signings of £30 million or more have been made, including a world record bid for Paul Pogba last summer. That is a truly astonishing number that will only increase this summer as a number of teams continue to invest heavily in their squads. In fact, while in Germany only two clubs have topped £30 million, and one of them just once, the Premier League boasts seven different teams to have broken the figure, all having done more than once other than Spurs.

So why do English clubs seem to pay so much for their players? Well, partly is simple economics. They tend to have more money thanks to the inordinate amounts that are shelled out for TV rights across the world, and can, therefore, target players who are more expensive. But there is also an element of targeting the English clubs because of their influx of cash.

Negotiations are able to be driven upwards because of the knowledge that English clubs can afford the higher prices. And why wouldn't you? Newcastle should be praised for being able to swindle extraordinary fees for Andy Carroll and Moussa Sissoko. It is in their interest to exploit potential buyers for the highest possible price.

While the Premier League may often spend the most money across the continent, its clubs must also pay a premium for simply being a part of the Premier League, and as long as their income is as sky high as the TV rights allow them to be, it's not going to change anytime soon.
Andrew Dowdeswell

A sport obsessed 20 something who just really wants Arsenal to finally win the league. Please Wenger, what the hell happened to you?!


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