Football fees continue to spiral out of control
The world of football economics continued to spiral into a frenzy last week when latest Manchester United acquisition, Anthony Martial, became the world’s most expensive teenager.
Martial signed a four-year-contract from French club Monaco with an option to extend for a further year on transfer deadline day for the English club for a whopping £36m with add-ons which could potentially rise to £20m, depending on how the 19-year-old performs.
Upon signing, and with the expected pressure to perform after being sold for such a huge fee, he said, “I don’t feel the pressure. I know there is pressure, but I’m ready for it. I’m very happy because it’s a big club in England”. “I’m very proud. I’m very happy because I worked hard for this, and my family is very happy about it. I spoke with the coach, Louis van Gaal, and I know that I need to work very hard. It’s not easy to speak about myself, but I am a very fast player. I hope that everything will go well for me at this club,” he beamed.
Despite his enthusiasm, the world looks on with raised eyebrows, particularly because Martial only has one full season under his belt as a starter. In the 2014/2015 season, he scored 9 goals in 35 league games for Monaco. Manchester United have now broken a world record for a player under 20 years for the third time.
In 2004, Manchester United signed Wayne Rooney from Merseyside club Everton for £25.6m, at that time the highest fee paid for a player under 20. Last year, United paid Southampton £30m for defender Luke Shaw to again break that record.
Meanwhile, throughout the transfer window, Chelsea were linked with a £70m deal for 22-year-old Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
However, Manchester City spent £52m on Belgian winger Kevin De Bruyne during this window, and although he is highly-rated, many feel that fee is way too high. Of course, with sponsorships and the new TV deals for Enplish Premiership clubs, these fees are becoming less of a challenge.