Billions spent...on soccer players

Every week, hundreds of refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea in a desperate attempt to cross into Europe to find what they perceive as a decent and safe living. Many are buried beneath the waves without so much as a tombstone to mark their existence, others make it dead to the shore, to be given a wooden cross with one word "Unknown".

The soccer transfer market has gone crazy. Just the English Premier League has spent over one billion GBP on players, the British transfer record being set by José Mourinho's Manchester United FC with 89 million GBP being paid for Paul Pogba, the world record-breaking move coming from Juventus.

Billions spent on transfers

So inflated is the market that mediocre players today sell for 50 million GBP.  But with a 5.1 billion-pound television deal, Premier League clubs have money to spend and this season already twelve clubs have broken their spending records. The inflated prices and frenetic movement of players shows that soccer is an industry in growth - in 2006, the collective spending of Premier League clubs was just 260 million GBP.

Just today, last year's clampions, Leicester City, are about to spend possibly 60 million GBP on a duo from Lisbon's Sporting Clube de Portugal, the Portuguese captain Adrien Silva and the Algerian striker Islam Slimani, an excellent player who has scored 27 goals at Sporting in two years and who should make up for the loss of Leicester City's Jamie Vardy to Arsenal. The transfer of Adrien Silva has not bee confirmed, Slimani's has.

The market has gone crazy

Chelsea FC, whose manager Conte said the transfer market has gone crazy, is preparing to spend 35 million GBP to bring Brazilian defender David Luiz back from Paris Saint-Germain, after having paid 23 million GBP to Fiorentina for full-back Marcos Alonso.

Today from Russia, Dinamo Moskva's Tomas Hubocan, the Slovakian defender, moves to Marseille, France; to Russia, more specifically to Rubin Kazan come Cameroon midfield player Alex Song from Barcelona; Spain's Ruben Rochina, a striker, from Granada and midfield player (Spanish) Samu Garcia from Villarreal. Promoted Russian Premier League side Arsenal Tula have signed up no less than 43 players this season!

Paris Saint-Germain has been linked to a 75 million GBP move for Wolfsburg's Julian Drazler.

Soccer, the opium of the people, is a major communicator and a vehicle for easy and quick entertainment, containing the "us and them" quality which seduces millions so easily. The Blues beat the Reds this weekend, so all is good. Viva soccer!

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


Sports Editor

[email protected]

Twitter: TimothyBHinchey


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey specialized in long distance running as a teenager and in 1974, at 16 years of age, achieved a time of 13.30.01 in the five thousand meters and a year later, a time of 28.00.21 in the ten thousand meters in regional competitions, however he chose not to enter competitive sport and preferred to play football (Soccer), handball, tennis, judo, Krav Maga, table tennis and badminton in his free time. Today at 58 years of age, he continues to play the same sports as a participant and maintains an active interest in all modalities as a spectator and commentator, beginning and ending each day with a routine of TaiJi.


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey