Culture

Peddling the myth of selling shirts to recoup transfer fees

Manchester City would need to sell more than 1.1m replica shirts to recoup the transfer fee they paid for Jack Grealish, apparently.

Manchester City would need to sell more than 1.1m replica shirts to recoup the transfer fee they paid for Jack Grealish, apparently.

Some weird and wonderful research that landed in my inbox from TicketGum.com has plotted the summer’s biggest transfer movements and then compared the transfer fees to the amount it would cost to buy a replica shirt with said player’s name and number on the back.

It ignores the fact entirely that clubs rarely make anything on their replica shirt sales, given that the kit manufacturers like Adidas and Nike pay extortionate amounts for the rights up front and thus recoup that back from sales themselves, but we’ll brush past that as the researchers have done.

Of course, the more shirts a club sells, the more attractive it makes itself for its next kit deal – so signing a headline player is more of an investment, than something they can cover with revenue straight away.

Here’s the table anyway:

Rank

Player Name

New Club/Team

Transfer Fee Paid (£ – GBP/ € – EUR)

Amount of the Players Official Replica Jersey that Needs to be Sold to Recoup the Transfer Fee Paid

1.

Jack Grealish Manchester City

£100M / €106M

1,176,471

2.

Jadon Sancho Manchester United

£73M / €79M

913,071

3.

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea

£97.5M / €103.5M

812,839

4.

Achraf Hakimi Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

£51.3M / €57.3M

675,000

5.

Ben White Arsenal

£50M / €56M

588,235

6.

Cristian Romero Tottenham Hotspur

£42.5 / €48.5M

500,000

7.

Emiliano Buendía Aston Villa

£33M / €39M

458,333

8.

Raphaël Varane Manchester United

£35M / €41M

437,774

9.

Dayot Upamecano Bayern Munich

£37M / €43M

435,294

10.

Ibrahima Konaté Liverpool

£36M / €42M

423,779

11.

Martin Ødegaard Arsenal

£30M / €36M

352,941

12.

Rodrigo de Paul Atlético Madrid

£29.9M / €35.9M

351,972

13. =

Danny Ings Aston Villa

£25M / €31M

347,222

13. =

Leon Bailey Aston Villa

£25M / €31M

347,222

14.

Eduardo Camavinga Real Madrid

£34.4M / €40.4M

333,981

15.

Daniel James Leeds United

£25M / €31M

333,333

16.

Kurt Zouma West Ham United

£25.8M / €31.8M

322,500

17.

Nikola Vlasic West Ham United

£25.7M / €31.7M

321,250

18.

Donyell Malen Borussia Dortmund

£25M / €31M

308,642

19.

Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal

£24M / €30M

282,352

20.

Matheus Cunha Atlético Madrid

£22M / €28M

258,976

It is surely particularly ambitious to think that Arsenal will sell anywhere near 282,000 Aaron Ramsdale jerseys.

Some big transfers of the summer, including Tammy Abraham’s move from Chelsea to Roma, weren’t included as the researchers couldn’t find the price of a replica jersey with their name on.

So, it’s no surprise that the biggest transfer fee of the summer requires the most number of shirts to be sold…

It does, however, highlight how expensive Manchester United shirts are in comparison to Chelsea.

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