Competition news


23 Aug 2008
The liga campaign 2008/2009 starts in one week and the transfer market seems asleep. And it’s that a new record was established on the past season as the Spanish clubs spent €540 million in signings; however for this season the amount invested in new incorporations is just reaching the half of that amount: €250.46 million.

Spain's looming economic and financial crisis is now affecting the world of football. An economic correction is currently taking place in the country and this has been reflected in the transfer market. Entire sectors are struggling, specially the construction industry which is suffering a downsizing period (Fadesa-Martinsa, the previous sponsor of Depor is now even in bankruptcy).

Despite the good television contracts held by several Spanish clubs, they have decided to reduce the investments in new signings, maybe a precaution measure in case the crisis is bigger in the near future. As result of this, one week before the close of the transfer period, the Spanish clubs have only spent €250.46 million in new signings, that’s less the half of the amount spent on the previous year: €540 million. Moment in which a new record was established. Definitely, two completely different moments just separated by twelve months.

Two clubs are leading this huge change of mentality: Real Madrid and Valencia FC. The Madrilenians spent the astonishing amount of €116 million on the past season, but right now they have only invested €21 million in new arrivals, 13 of those millions invested in Rafael Van der Vaart. Meanwhile the Valencians have just spent €5 million on this season, very inferior amount compared to €44.5 million invested on the past campaign. The situation of Valencia is very complicated, they had a budget of €202 million for the past campaign, but the sporting disappointments plus the bad moves of their officials are now causing an internal crisis, it was even rumoured they would need to sell stars players like David Villa or David Silva.

Other club lowering its investments is Atl?tico Madrid, club that spent €84 million on the past season and that currently is only using €19 million in order to sign new incorporations. But not all the clubs are reducing their investments, there are cases of clubs that are even doubling the amounts spent on the past season, that’s the case of UD Almeria who is now spending €15.24 million in new incorporations, that’s almost the triple of the money used on the past campaign (€6.30 million).

But the main actors in the market are Sevilla FC and Barcelona FC, both have increased their investments in new signing in a 40%. Actually the Catalans have completed the most expensive signing of the summer after they paid to the Sevillians €29 million for the Brazilian Daniel Alv?s.

The crisis lived in Spain is the main reason why the zero-cost transfers are the most commonly operation used in the market, actually the three clubs that have completed the bigger number of operations, Recreativo, RCD Mallorca and Malaga FC, have just spent together €7 million in order to complete 30 operations.

The players have been also affected by the crisis, according to Sportpaper Marca, in a general sense the wages of the players have been reduced in a 50% compared to the year 2005. And this situation is happening no matter the minimum wage has been lifted to €66,000 in Primera Divisi??n and €42,500 for Segunda.

Marca made a poll between the Primera clubs and discovered that Sporting Gij??n, M??laga FC and Real Valladolid are among the ones offering the lower salaries. The best paid player of these three teams is just earning €500,000 per season (Marca says that’s an offensive midfielder).

The report also claims that clubs like Racing Santander and Osasuna are near to these limits, while Recreativo is offering unusual clauses, like paying €280,000 per two seasons and with a special clause: 25% less for the next year if the clubs gets relegated. Marca also claims the financial crisis is affecting the payments made by the clubs, as example they explain the case of Athletic Bilbao, club that experienced a delay in the payments of the players’ wages a few months ago, a thing that occurred for the first time within the last five years.

A comparison of the amounts invested in the past two years

Note: amounts in millions

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