London — The transfer value of footballers in 10 of Europe’s top leagues could plummet by up to €10bn due to the economic crash caused by coronavirus, according to a study by accounting firm KPMG.
Transfer spending is expected to fall dramatically, with clubs across the continent facing huge losses due to football’s shutdown.
The top divisions in England, Germany, Italy and Spain remain committed to trying to finish the 2019-2020 season so they can honour huge TV contracts and minimise the financial hit.
KPMG estimates that Europe’s top five leagues, including France, where the season has ended, could lose €4bn if the campaigns cannot be completed. Those leagues are also the main drivers of the European transfer market.
The study also looked at the top leagues in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey and England’s second-tier Championship.
With little money to spend, values could fall by nearly €10bn if there is no more football this season — the worst-case scenario. They could still plummet by €6.6bn if leagues were completed behind closed doors. That modelling was based on all 10 leagues being completed, even though seasons in France and the Netherlands have been ended.
“Our recent analysis reveals that the aggregate value of all the 4,183 players in the 10 European leagues under consideration decreased by a total of almost €10bn, a 26.5% drop since February for scenario one,” KPMG’s latest Football Benchmark report reads.
“Players’ values would decrease by €6.6bn, a 17.7% decrease in scenario two.”
Paris Saint-Germain players Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are still the two most valuable players, according to the report. But the number of players worth more than €100m would shrink from 15 before the pandemic to eight if the season is not completed.
The lack of cash could, though, cause clubs to become more creative with swap deals.
“Financial constraints are likely to lead to a decrease both in the volume of transactions and in the transfer fees, and to an increase in the number of swap and loan deals,” the report reads.
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