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Centrefield remains global leading law firm in football transfer market

Thursday 14th September 2023

The summer 2023 football transfer window was a record breaking one for football, with FIFA reporting that over 10,000 transfers were completed in men’s football (with total transfer fees over US$7 billion) and over 800 transfers in women’s football that were collectively worth over US$3 million.   

Centrefield was once again at the forefront of this activity advising clubs, leagues, agents and players on transfers worth over £1.5 billion which, when combined with the January 2023 window, means the firm’s sports law specialists have worked on over 250 transfers in 2023 with a combined value in excess of £1.8 billion. This level of activity marks Centrefield out as the leading global law firm advising on football transfers.

Highlights included advising on record transfers for men and women, the transfer of a World Cup winner, working on transfers involving nearly every Premier League club and advising on transfers across all of FIFA’s five confederations, including a number of transfers into the Saudi Pro League (for both players and clubs).

In its work, Centrefield has noted some significant market trends emerge in 2023 including:

  • Loans are the ‘new transfers’ with clubs entering into loans with options to buy as opposed to permanent transfers, often driven by financial and regulatory compliance considerations;
  • The growth of ‘buying markets’ outside of Europe, particularly Saudi Arabia;
  • The development of player trading between leading English clubs given the current spending power in English football;
  • The increase in volume and value of women’s transfers and the development of multi-club groups within women’s football;
  • The growth of the factoring/accelerating market for selling clubs;
  • The new Elite Significant Contribution route under the GBE Regulations allowing English clubs at all professional levels to recruit from a wider pool of talent; 
  • Transactions being shaped by the forthcoming introduction of the FIFA Football Agents Regulations; and
  • The movement of ‘graduates’ of overseas decentralised youth academies into mainstream European leagues and the exponential increase in transfer fees paid for such players on each subsequent transfer.

Given its pre-eminence as global leaders in football transfers, the Centrefield team is available to advise clubs, leagues, agents and players on how to navigate the ever-evolving football transfer market, the key lessons learned from the Summer 2023 window and the imminent introduction of the FFAR – please just contact us for more information: