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  • Writer's pictureSebastian Friedrich

Transfer earnings of the top 5 leagues 2012/13 to 2021/22

The transfer expenses and income in professional football have been the subject of scientific studies for years, as they are an important indicator of the financial strength of clubs and leagues. In particular, the top 5 leagues in Europe (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga) attract particular interest due to their high financial influence and media presence.


The transfer of players between clubs is a central component of the modern football business and has a significant impact on the sporting success and financial situation of clubs. In this regard, transfer spending and earnings are an important indicator of the competitiveness and financial performance of clubs and leagues. In this list we have included the transfer spending and earnings of the top 5 leagues from the 2012/13 to 2021/22 seasons, giving an insight into the financial development of European professional football over the past ten years.


Premier League:

  • 2012/13: EUR 294.70 million

  • 2013/14: EUR 397.60 million

  • 2014/15: EUR 437.10 million

  • 2015/16: EUR 624.90 million

  • 2016/17: EUR 703.10 million

  • 2017/18: EUR 764.30 million

  • 2018/19: EUR 741.60 million

  • 2019/20: EUR 751.30 million

  • 2020/21: EUR 636.50 million

  • 2021/22: EUR 580.70 million

The league:

  • 2012/13: EUR 242.30 million

  • 2013/14: EUR 362.00 million

  • 2014/15: EUR 384.60 million

  • 2015/16: EUR 574.20 million

  • 2016/17: EUR 719.70 million

  • 2017/18: EUR 663.30 million

  • 2018/19: EUR 856.50 million

  • 2019/20: EUR 696.10 million

  • 2020/21: EUR 419.70 million

  • 2021/22: EUR 390.30 million

Series A:

  • 2012/13: EUR 218.70 million

  • 2013/14: EUR 329.70 million

  • 2014/15: EUR 394.10 million

  • 2015/16: EUR 578.90 million

  • 2016/17: EUR 727.60 million

  • 2017/18: EUR 697.90 million

  • 2018/19: EUR 744.70 million

  • 2019/20: EUR 580.20 million

  • 2020/21: EUR 409.40 million

  • 2021/22: EUR 466.90 million

League 1:

  • 2012/13: EUR 204.90 million

  • 2013/14: EUR 253.20 million

  • 2014/15: EUR 349.90 million

  • 2015/16: EUR 507.10 million

  • 2016/17: EUR 576.90 million

  • 2017/18: EUR 679.60 million

  • 2018/19: EUR 580.90 million

  • 2019/20: EUR 464.70 million

  • 2020/21: EUR 387.80 million

  • 2021/22: EUR 476.20 million

Bundesliga:

  • 2012/13: EUR 191.30 million

  • 2013/14: EUR 295.00 million

  • 2014/15: EUR 397.30 million

  • 2015/16: EUR 562.10 million

  • 2016/17: EUR 523.40 million

  • 2017/18: EUR 531.30 million

  • 2018/19: EUR 698.40 million

  • 2019/20: EUR 576.70 million

  • 2020/21: EUR 369.40 million

  • 2021/22: EUR 491.60 million

The transfer market activities in professional football are of great economic importance, especially the transfer proceeds, as they make a significant contribution to the financing of clubs and leagues. Analysis of the transfer earnings of the top 5 leagues in Europe in the seasons from 2012/13 to 2021/22 shows that clubs from these leagues have generated high overall revenues from player sales over the years. Here too, the dominance of the Premier League and La Liga was evident, with the highest revenues most seasons.


An interesting aspect of this development is that in some seasons transfer proceeds were actually higher than expenses, suggesting that clubs were able to finance their transfer activities from the proceeds generated during these years. The 2018/19 season was the most striking example, in which the top 5 leagues achieved a total transfer revenue of almost 2.9 billion euros, which is a record.


Another interesting finding is that transfer earnings experienced a significant drop in the 2020/21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is attributed to the uncertainty and financial constraints in the industry. However, in the 2021/22 season, an increase in revenue can be observed, which indicates a stabilization of the market.


In summary, transfer earnings for Europe's top 5 leagues are an important indicator of the financial strength of clubs and leagues and make a significant contribution to the financing of professional football. However, the analysis of transfer earnings also shows that the market is highly volatile and influenced by various factors such as the economic situation, club competitiveness and the impact of events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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