Football clubs around the world spent a record $ 7.35 billion (€ 6.63 million) on transfers in the men's game in 2019, FIFA revealed in a report released on Wednesday.
The figure represents an increase of 5.8% in 2018, with English clubs accounting for the largest total disbursement at just over $ 1.5 billion – a drop of 22.1% compared to previous figures.
However, 80% of all transfer fee spending came from 100 clubs combined, according to the global transfer market report.
Portuguese clubs achieved the highest net balance with US $ 384 million, while those in England produced the largest negative net balance of US $ 549.9 million.
18,042 international transfers were made – another record. They involved 15,463 players from 178 different nationalities.
There was also a 16.3% increase in spending on women's football, with the total number rising from $ 560,000 to $ 652,000. The number of transfers went from 696 to 833.
"It is remarkable to see a new record number of transfers in the men's market," said Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA's legal and compliance director.
"We also see an increase in overall numbers in the women's market, which is a sign of the positive overall development of women's football in the last year, which we believe will continue in 2020".