By Julian Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamaican football clubs earned almost $25 million from player transfers during the first half of 2012, says a new FIFA report.
FIFA, the international governing body for football, in its mid-year review for the international transfer market, reported that local clubs profited US$280,000 ($24.8 million) from the movement of players over the first six months of 2012. Jamaican clubs had a total of seven outgoing transfers compared to two incoming trasfers, the report said.
Portmore United striker Tremaine Stewart, who signed a three-year contract with Norwegian club Aalesunds FC in March, was arguably the most high profile footballer to be transferred outside of the country over the review period.
Jamaican football analyst and general manager of Harbour View FC, Clyde Jureidini, said the latest FIFA figures are an indicator that the local industry is moving in the right direction.
"There is a lot of activity in the transfer market and that's good for us as an exporting country," Jureidini told the Jamaica Observer.
Harbour View, traditionally one of the most active local clubs in the transfer market, sent several players out on loan deals over the first half of the year, said Jureidini. The club made one of the most lucrative transfers for a Jamaican club in 1998 when it sent a then 18-year-old Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner to English Premier League outfit Bolton Wanderers for £1 million.
Meanwhile, FIFA reported that the international transfer market was generally weak over the period under review. In the first six months of 2012, professional football
clubs conducted a total of 4973 international transfers, down nine per cent from the same period in 2011, said FIFA.
"This could suggest that the effects of the global recession - for instance, distressed corporate sponsors, restrictive bank lending policies and reduced overdraft facilities for clubs - are being felt in the international football transfer market," the report said.
"A further factor may be the high concentration of wealth in a relatively small number of associations; any reduction in spending in those few associations could have a disproportionally high impact on aggregate transfer fees worldwide," FIFA added. "Finally, given the share of the European transfer market, the efforts of those clubs to bring themselves in line with the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations before the onset of sanctions for indebted clubs may contribute to a fall-off in transfer compensation rates."
However, the football governing body said it is difficult to draw any definitive conclusions on the health and size of the market before the European summer registration period activity is taken into account.
Brazilian football clubs had the highest transfer volume with 708 total transfers (478 incoming and 230 outgoing), and also received the most most money (US$64.95 million) over the period.
Russian clubs spent the most money on transfers during the 2012 first half, said FIFA. The country's football clubs spent US$64.39 million among 179 total transfers, which included 58 incoming and 121 outgoing transfers.
Belgian football clubs profited the most over the period, earning net US$26.44 million over 128 total transfers (57 incoming and 71 outgoing transfers), the report revealed.