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English clubs were football’s biggest spenders on international deals in 2019

English clubs paid out 22 per cent less on international deals in 2019 compared to the previous year but were still comfortably the world’s biggest spenders, according to a new FIFA report.

The study found that the ‘big five’ European leagues of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain accounted for 5 billion US dollars (£3.8bn) of spending, 68.7 per cent of the overall record total of 7.35bn US dollars (£5.6bn).

England showed the largest decrease among those five countries, but topped the ranking once again despite a 22.1 per cent drop-off from 2018. In 2019 the money spent on incoming international deals by English clubs was just over 1.5bn US dollars (around £1.1bn).

Worldwide spending on international transfers 2012-2019

Worldwide spending on international transfers 2012-2019 (PA Graphic)

English clubs had the largest negative net balance sheet, standing at -549.9 million US dollars (minus £420m).

The new record amount of 7.35bn US dollars equates to just over £5.6bn, and  was a 5.8 per cent increase on 2018.

The number of international transfers and the amount spent on transfer fees was also on the rise in women’s football, according to the world governing body’s Global Transfer Market Report.

In 2019 there were 831 international transfers in the women’s game compared to 696 in 2018, an increase of almost 20 per cent. The total spend was 652,032 US dollars (£497,950), an increase of 16.3 per cent on 2018.

There were 18,042 international transfers in the men’s game, involving 15,463 players of 178 different nationalities, the report found.

Four-fifths of all spending in men’s football was concentrated among 100 clubs.

Eden Hazard was a Chelsea favourite before his big-money move to Spain

Eden Hazard was a Chelsea favourite before his big-money move to Spain (Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal were big spenders last summer, breaking their transfer record to bring in Nicolas Pepe from French club Lille for a reported £72m.

Manchester City also spent over £60m to bring in midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid, while Tottenham’s reported outlay on Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso was a combined £110m.

One of the major international deals where an English side were the selling club was Eden Hazard’s reported £130m move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.