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Data refers to the indicators of average age, average height, % of club-trained players, % of internationals, % of expatriates and average stay. Moreover, a mapping tool allows you to analyse the origin of expatriate players.

More detailed data relating to club level analysis is presented in our annual publications: Annual Review (big-5 leagues) and Demographic Study (31 top division leagues in Europe).

We also kindly remind you that an online tool to assess the transfer value of big-5 league players is available here.

The team which was able to generate the most income by transferring players to big-5 league teams was Southampton (120.7 million €). The English team outranked both Real Madrid (112 million €) and Chelsea (102.4 million €). The only non big-5 league club in the top 10 of the rankings was Porto (83.8 million €). However, a big part of the transfer income for the Portuguese team was in the end pocketed by third-parties who held shares in the economic rights of the specific players transferred.

Among the 46 teams that earned at least 15 million €, only seven are not part of big-5 leagues: Porto, Benfica, Ajax, Sporting Lisbon, Feyenoord, Dinamo Kiev and Salzburg.
More information is available in the 81st issue of the Big-5 Weekly Post.

This year’s predictions take into account the following areas: players’ status, squad cohesion and club ambition. The indicator of players’ status considers minutes played by squad members during the previous season, as well as overall results achieved by their employer club. Squad cohesion refers to the percentage of domestic league minutes played in 2013/14 by footballers who are still at the club, as well as the average number of seasons played by current squad members at the employer team. Finally, club ambition includes the average length of contract duration of first team players, as well as the ratio between the status of new signings and that of footballers released by the club during the last transfer window.

Analysis of the above criteria by the CIES Football Observatory academic team indicates that Chelsea, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Bayern Munich and Rome are in the most favourable position to win the title in their respective leagues. Our data also suggests that the runners-up will be Manchester City, Real Madrid, LOSC Lille, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus. Among promoted teams, Leicester City, Burnley, Deportivo La Coruña, Metz and Cologne are well placed to achieve good results. In contrast to this, the following clubs are forecast to struggle in achieving satisfactory results: Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Almería, Nice, Eintracht Frankfurt and Chievo Verona.

Enjoy the season and may the best teams win!

Our ‘right price’ has been calculated as the average between a player’s transfer value both before and after the deal. Significantly, the latter figure also considers the new contract duration of the footballer recruited. Both values have been calculated according to the exclusive CIES Football Observatory statistical model which incorporates nearly 1,500 fee paying transfers completed since 2009 (see below).

Our new data analysis has revealed that overall clubs paid on average 16% more than they invested in the five previous years for players with similar characteristics (add-ons included). This confirms the ongoing inflation trend of the transfer market at the top end of the football pyramid. The inflation trend is mainly due to the sums spent by a handful of wealthy clubs. This was notably the case for Manchester United with regard to Angel Di María (+30 million € between the right price and fee reported), for Paris St-Germain for David Luiz signing (+ 29 million €) and for Real Madrid in the case of James Rodríguez (+25 million €).

At the opposite end of the table, our analysis shows that the existence of buy-out clauses and/or non-sporting related issues allowed Barcelona to reduce their offer for Luis Suárez (-12 million € between the right price and money invested). The same holds true for Chelsea with Diego Costa’s signing (-10 million €). In absolute terms, Mario Balotelli was the most under-paid player (-16 million €).

The full picture for all players transferred for a fee of at least 10 million € (including add-ons) is presented in the 79th edition of the Big-5 Weekly Post. We also kindly remind you that our unique and simple online calculator to estimate the current transfer value of big-5 league players is freely accessible here.

CIES Football Observatory’s statistical model

The CIES Football Observatory academic team has developed an exclusive statistical model to assess the transfer value of players and predict transfer fees. This powerful econometrical model is based on the in-depth analysis of a sample of nearly 1,500 players transferred for a fee from big-5 league teams since the summer transfer window preceding the 2009/10 season. The statistical model developed includes a multitude of variables relating to the following areas: age, length of remaining contract, position, player performance at club level for the most recent and previous seasons, results of the clubs for which players are employed, as well as players’ international experience and results of national team represented.

The new transfer value calculator uses an exclusive algorithm created on the basis of nearly 1,500 fee paying transfers whihc have occurred during the previous five years at big-5 league clubs. The exclusive algorithm will continue to be updated after every transfer window to take into account the latest market trends.

More information on the statistical model developed by the CIES Football Observatory academic team and detailed analysis of current big-5 league players is available in the 2014 edition of the CIES Football Observatory Annual Review, published this month. A free excerpt of this flagship publication can be downloaded here.

The scientific analysis of player transfer values perfectly complements the two other main CIES Football Observatory research areas: squad composition and pitch performance. All of these areas of study are of high importance to clubs as they are able to assist in raising performance levels from both a sporting and economic perspective.

Moreover, the transfer value calculator will help to increase the level of transparency in the beautiful game as all stakeholders – from club officials to the general public – will be able to compare actual fees paid to those estimated as the fair transfer value by the calculator.

A comparison of the most recent fee paying transfers of big-5 league players is available in the 78th edition of the Big-5 Weekly Post. Estimated fees refer to the situation on 1st June 2014 as published in the CIES Football Observatory Annual Review. The very high correlation (r² = 87%) confirms the accuracy of our approach and its predictive power.

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