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  • Sheryll Mericido

Saudi Pro League becomes rising force in international football with successful transfer window

RIYADH — The Saudi Pro League established itself as a rising force in international football in 2023 by enjoying unparalleled success in the summer transfer window.

FIFA, the world's governing body of football, stated that Saudi teams came in second worldwide in terms of transfer fee expenditures, having spent an astounding $875.4 million on foreign transfers during the mid-year window.

This ground-breaking accomplishment underscores the league's explosive expansion and rising stature on the world football scene.

FIFA just announced that during the 2023 summer transfer window, international football clubs broke all prior records by collectively spending an astounding $7.36 billion on transfer fees.

"This unprecedented figure of $7.36 billion was expended on transfer fees during the 2023 mid-year window," FIFA stated in an official press release. "This represents a significant 26.8% increase over the prior mid-year record set in 2019 and a remarkable 47.2% increase compared to the 2022 mid-year period."

According to FIFA's thorough analysis, England emerged as the clear leader during the 2023 mid-year transfer period, which ran from June 1 to September 1, 2023, outpacing all other countries in terms of expenditure on transfer fees, the quantity of incoming transfers, and the quantity of outgoing transfers.

Notably, Saudi Arabia, with a staggering total of $875.4 million invested in international transfers, took second place in the world spending rankings.

In terms of spending on transfers, this accomplishment puts the Saudi football league in front of established football giants like France ($859.7 million), Germany ($762.4 million), Italy ($711.0 million), and Spain ($405.6 million).

The study from FIFA also noted a sharp rise in agent fees, which during the mid-year transfer window hit an all-time high of $696.6 million.

With this increase, the overall agency fees for 2023 to date have reached $853.0 million, representing a significant 36.9% increase over the entire year of 2022 and an all-time high in football transfers.

Parallel to this rise, women's football experienced significant expansion as well, with transfer fees topping $3 million during the same time period.

This astounding amount highlights the growing global interest in and investment in women's football and doubles the transfer fees from the previous year.

The record-breaking amount spent on international football transfers in 2023 is a reflection of the sport's continuous development and global economic vigor.

The football transfer market continues to establish new standards as football clubs and nations compete for the best players, providing an exciting future for the sport around the world.

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