Former Manchester City player acquisition head Mike Rigg says that the era of inflated transfer fees began with Robinho’s move to the Etihad stadium in 2008.
Up until then, the transfer fees for players were relatively low with the best players costing in the region of £ 25 million. Zidane held the world record with his £ 45 million move from Juventus to Real Madrid, but this stood for several years. Now, the world record transfer fee has been broken with alarming consistency. Last year, it was the turn of Manchester United to break the record with the signing of Paul Pogba for £ 90 million while PSG have taken the figure to an astronomical sum after signing Neymar from Barcelona for € 222 million.
Rigg believes thatRobinho’s £ 32 million move to Manchester City in the summer of 2008 started a huge a cycle of expenditure, which even saw the introduction of the financial fair play regulations from UEFA. Upon the introduction of strict rules with regard to expenditure, there was a slow pace in the movement of the transfer fees.
Michel Platini was a key advocate for this rule, but his ban from FIFA has led to a relaxation of the financial fair play regulations. Now, clubs are spending ever higher on players. The best players now cost around £ 100 million or even more.
“If I take us back to 2008 and when Manchester City bought Robinho, it does have a knock on effect, it does inflate prices.Regardless to how you see it, England is seen as an easy way of bringing money into other leagues. The finances that Neymar will kick on will have an effect, not just at the first-team level but right throughout all different levels, so it has an effect in the Championship and young players coming through the system as well,” said Rigg.