Amidst the reports that UEFA are not going to investigate Manchester City over its Financial Fair Play rules, the question of how much money is too much is posed once again in the footballing world.
This is only the latest incident in the ever-growing saga which sees the European governing body currently investigating Paris St-Germain to identify whether they are guilty of breaching their rules.
In a summer where we have seen record fees smashed and the titles for the two most expensive signings of all time updated – one of them being a twenty-year-old – it’s impossible to predict when or rather if, the spending will ever slow down.
You only have to look at some of the prices spent on some of the transfers that have comparatively slipped under the radar to realise that we live in a vastly different footballing world, dominated by the perpetual obsession with money.
Eight-figure fees are now the norm which when you hold your average deal up against one from twenty years prior, it’s both fascinating and terrifying to assess the rate in which the increase has evolved.
In the top-ten biggest spends of all time by a club in a single transfer window, six of those are from this year alone. Man City’s 2017 ranks highest with a whopping £215 million, just pipping PSG for the title by a single million, despite their acquisition of Neymar for a world record fee of £200 million.
How does it work?
Three stages are simultaneously happening which can break down the process of a football transfer into simple terms.
A negotiation between two clubs (one buying a player and the other selling), the negotiation between the buying club and the player’s agent and then the negotiation between the buying club and the player over the agreement of personal terms.
It is believed that this middle step is the one that has complicated and dictated a lot of matters that have helped push transfer money into unimaginable heights.
Sheffield United and Bleacher Report gave spectators a behind-the-scenes exclusive of what deadline day looks like for a professional club.
This was further evidence that agents have a much bigger say in the proceedings than first imagined. In fact, they have that much of a say to the point that they can make or break a transfer.
When will it end?
There is no telling whether this spending will in fact never let up, particularly when considering the emphasis on money in the modern game.
Bigger players sell more football shirts plus the system in place allows and rewards considerable spending, and without it, you risk falling behind rivals in and around you.
Fans and neutrals cannot complain about this because it’s simply the way the world turns – and as such, the dynamic of football as we know it has been irrevocably altered.