The numbers behind Ligue 1’s transfer window


Paris Saint-Germain used the summer window to remind everyone of the financial power behind their club.

A single signing by the Parisians has quite possibly changed the business landscape in world football forever, though it was no ordinary transfer.

They managed to lure Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar Neymar in a world-record shattering €222 million deal.

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Neymar’s move to PSG is the biggest transfer in football history, breaking the record set last year when Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United. On top of signing one of the world’s greatest footballers, PSG acquired Ligue 1-winner and AS Monaco prodigy Kylian Mbappe on loan.

3. Ligue 1 – Spent £620.36 million / €678.7 million

Remarkably, Neymar’s transfer to PSG alone almost accounts for one-third of Ligue 1’s entire summer spending at 32.71%.

However, PSG’s total summer spending sits at €238 million – making up for 35.07% of the league’s overall outlay – which isn’t indicative of the league as a collective.

Nine of the 20 Ligue 1 clubs turned over a profit this summer, with AS Monaco €75.5 million in the green.

They splashed €102 million on new players after losing several title-winners to the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, and make up 15.03% of Ligue 1’s spend.

Meanwhile, Olympique Lyonnais were esentially able to build an entirely new squad off the mega sales of Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso, and finished the window with a net profit of €69.05 million.

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Average spend from clubs in Ligue 1: €33.94 million. Average net profit from clubs in Ligue 1: €-5.45 million.

At a combined 50.1%, Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco make up slightly more than half of the entire spending done in Ligue 1 over the summer.

Lille were the next biggest spenders, signing 13 players for a total of €65 million. Still, that only counts for 9.58% of Ligue 1’s spend.

An average net profit of €-5.45 million for Ligue 1 is hugely skewed by the business of Paris Saint-Germain, who threw as much money as necessary to land Neymar.

Most Ligue 1 clubs operate on modest means, with nine of the 20 clubs spending less than €10 million, making the league’s stance as the third-highest spender in Europe basically just a representation of the strangle-hold that PSG has over the league.

It would take an extraordinary effort for a club other than PSG or AS Monaco to win the league title this season and, based on the business conducted by the former, they will need to put in a serious challenge for the UEFA Champions League.



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