PARIS: Football clubs worldwide splashed out a record $7.35 billion (6.63 million euros) on transfers in the men's game in 2019, FIFA revealed in a report released on Wednesday.
The amount represents a 5.8 per cent increase on 2018, with English clubs accounting for the largest total outlay at just over $1.5 billion -- a drop of 22.1 per cent on previous figures.
However, 80 per cent of all spending on transfer fees came from 100 clubs combined, according to the global transfer market report.
Portuguese clubs achieved the highest net balance with $384 million while those in England produced the largest negative net balance of $549.9 million.
A total of 18,042 international transfers were made -- another record. They involved 15,463 players of 178 different nationalities.
There was also a 16.3 per cent increase in spending in women's football, with the total figure rising to $652,000 from $560,000. The number of transfers climbed from 696 to 833.
"It is remarkable to see a new record number of transfers in the men's market," said FIFA's chief legal and compliance officer, Emilio Garcia Silvero.
"We observe as well, increasing all-round figures in the women's market, which is a sign of the positive overall development of women's football over the last year which we trust will continue in 2020."