Transfer debt analysis: Clubs have taken up more player trading debt amidst pandemic

27 August 2021

Photo: Alamy Juventus and FC Barcelona are two of the clubs in Europe owing most to other clubs.

Buying and selling players in instalments has been an important part of the transfer market for years, and with clubs being interconnected through these obligations to each other, the consequences of potential defaults are huge.

Moreover, there is an increasing trend of clubs tending towards alternative transfer solutions that do not require large upfront fees. 

Paris Saint-Germain have bought in top-tier players on free transfers, leaving wages as the main financial burden, while Juventus has utilized loans for several seasons now, delaying the ultimate transfer payment.

We have taken a deeper look at the development in transfer debt for 81 European clubs.

Emil Hauge, analyst

According to UEFA and the European Club Association, one of the most pressing financial concerns for clubs is the accumulation of millions of euros in player trading debt. 

Looking at the development from 2019 to 2020, there has been a substantial increase in both short-term and long-term transfer debt. But the analysis also reveals that the gap between current and non-current transfer debt has become smaller. 

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