HR & Management

Premier League clubs that made transfer deals based on FX rates – and those that lost out

5 min read

09 September 2015

Moneycorp decided to analyse each Premier League club’s transfer activity and work out which were the savviest dealers.

Premier League football clubs have saved £85m on the £483m spent on players from European clubs due to the pound’s rise against the euro, according to corporate FX broker Foenix Partners. 

That’s not to say that English clubs haven’t lost out when selling players to European clubs. Take Manchester United, for example, when it bought Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid in August 2014 at a rate of €1.2558 per pound. Foenix explained that when the club “flogged Di Maria to Paris St Germain in August 2015 for £44.3m, it lost £15m on the player’s value”, and a further £7.5m due to the exchange rate.

Richard de Meo, managing director at Foenix Partners, said: “Most football clubs don’t pay the total transfer fee in one go and will typically pay over a schedule of instalments lasting two to three years in addition to any performance related fees. Given the fluctuating currency markets it has become even more important than ever for football clubs to carefully manage FX exposure.”

The latter advice may prove useful given the impact on exchange rates from the market crash in China

Moneycorp recently put together a study, which presents a strong case for teams to be paying more attention to exchange rates whilst striking deals with foreign teams

The company claimed that Premier League clubs could have saved £23.4m had its owners completed transfers on the dates with the best exchange rate. That’s more than Liverpool paid for Luis Suarez in 2011 – a five-and-a-half year deal worth about £22.7m.

Manchester’s club signings for Memphis Depay and Kevin De Bruyne were both bought at times where the pound was weaker against the euro.

Memphis Depay’s transfer fee from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United was £25,000,000 when the exchange rate was 1.371. The club therefore lost out on £1,141,021 of potential savings, Moneycorp claimed.

Similarly, Kevin De Bruyne’s transfer from Wolfsburg to Manchester City failed to capitalise on advantageous exchange rates. When the £55,000,000 fee was agreed, the exchange rate was 1.373 – which is by far lower than the optimum rate for the period, Moneycory said. City therefore missed out on £2,456,755 worth of potential savings.

Such was the poor timing of Manchester United’s moves in the transfer market that had it timed its transfer dealings better, it would have saved enough to have subsidised every single season ticket at Old Trafford by £118. 

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Manchester United could have saved £6,555,749 and would have been able to fully support 13 football facilities funding schemes for grass roots clubs or schools in the UK. Each project could have included new pitches, floodlights, changing rooms and clubhouses.

With over £3,000,000 worth of potential savings, Manchester City could have put 5,000 aspiring coaches through all three modules of the FA Youth Award – the qualification needed to coach pre-teens from grass roots to professional academies.

Some six of the Premier League’s 20 teams were so unlucky that transfers occurred predominantly in times where the exchange rate for the pound was below the average. Manchester United sits at the bottom of the pile of teams, as it would have saved £2,257,260. Next on the list was Tottenham Hotspur (£641,628), Manchester City (£587,567), West Ham (£160,573), Watford (£87,744), and Crystal Palace (£60,317).

With the £3,144,853 Tottenham Hotspur could have saved on transfer payments, the club could have purchased three state of the art 3G training pitches, and if Chelsea had completed its deals during the peak period, its £2,491,555 saving could have bought four new 500 seat grandstands for some lucky non-league clubs.

West Brom, on the other hand, is the biggest winner. Its sole international signing of Salomon Rondon from Zenit St. Petersburg was bought at such a good time for the strength of the pound against the Russian Ruble that the club saved over £1.2m. Still, though, if it’d of held off on the transfer for another two weeks, it could have saved a further £1.2m.

According to Moneycorp, Chelsea made a profit of £456,738, Newcastle made a profit of £410,737, and Aston Villa’s savvy skills made £393,681 for the club.