A total of 17,945 international transfers of male professional players were completed in the Transfer Matching System (TMS) in 2021. Of these, 3,545 (19.8%) involved at least one intermediary.
European clubs accounted for 95.8% of the USD 500.8m spent on intermediary service fees, with clubs from England (USD 133.3m), Germany (USD 84.3m), Italy (USD 73.5m), Spain (USD 34.8m), France (USD 30.3m) and Portugal (USD 29.3m) alone responsible for 77.0% of the total sum worldwide.
While clubs’ spending on transfer fees shrank for the second year in a row (-13.9% in 2021 and -23.4% in 2020), this decrease did not carry over to spending on intermediary service fees, which remained on the same level as in 2020 and even slightly increased by 0.7%. According to another report published by FIFA earlier this year, a total of USD 3.5 billion was paid for intermediary service fees in international transfers over the course of the past decade.
1,287 international transfers of female professional players
The report published today revealed that 1,287 international transfers of female professional players were completed in TMS, 300 of which (23.3%) involved at least one intermediary.
The number of transfers with engaging-club intermediaries in women’s football increased by 12.9% in 2021 (70) compared to 2020 (62), with England (16) and Germany (14) the most active FIFA member associations in this category.
Comprehensive transfer system reform
Since 2017, and in line with the FIFA President’s blueprint The Vision 2020-2023: Making Football Truly Global, FIFA has taken major steps towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent transfer system, with the FIFA Council endorsing three reform packages. FIFA’s new Football Agent Regulations are due to enter into force in 2022.
An overview of the main achievements in relation to the reform of the transfer system is available here.