Picture: 123RF/BOWIE 15
Picture: 123RF/BOWIE 15

Lausanne — The coronavirus pandemic which has caused football to grind to a halt will also have a major impact on the transfer market value of players in Europe’s leading leagues, according to a study published on Monday.

The total market value of players in Europe’s “big five” leagues — the top flights in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France — will suffer a drop of 28%, from €32.7bn to €23.4bn if no more matches are played this season and contracts set to expire in June are not renewed.

The study is the result of research by the Football Observatory at the Swiss-based International Centre for Sports Studies.

The extent of the decrease varies according to several factors such as the players’ age, contract duration, career path and recent performance, the study says.

Older players on short contracts who have played fewer games this season than last are especially affected.

It gives the example of Manchester United’s French star Paul Pogba, 27, who is out of contract in 2021 and whose market value is set to be cut almost in half, to €35m.

The study estimates that Manchester City would have a total of €412m wiped off the market value of their players, more than any other club in the leading five leagues.

Just behind them are Barcelona, who would lose €366m from the value of their squad, and Liverpool (€353m).