Footballers seem to swap teams for eye-boggling fees – with French international Paul Pogba setting a new record at £108.9 million.
Midfielder Pogba moved from Italy’s Juventus to Manchester United after a stop-go series of negotiations mainly based around who pay a 325 million fee to his agent.
The transfer was seemingly triggered by United manager Jose Mourinho wanting to move for the player after his indifferent showing in the Euro 2016 finals.
Pogba will earn £275,000 a week at Old Trafford – a significant rise on the cash he was taking home at Juventus.
But the irony is Pogba is a former Manchester United player who left for Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 without making the first team.
The nearest he made to the pitch was as an unused substitute who then manager Sir Alex Ferguson considered too much of a raw talent and surplus to requirements.
After 200 first team games and four Serie A titles in Italy, Pogba is going back to Manchester.
He joins Gareth Bale (£83.5m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£83m) of Real Madrid and striker Gonzalo Higuain (£75.3m) who moved to Juventus from Napoli a few days ago at the top of the transfer tree.
Bale and Ronaldo have won national titles and the Champions League at Madrid, while Higuain won the Coppa Italia with Napoli last season.
Although expensive footballers win trophies, the question is would their teams still have won without them?
Value for money
Value for money is measured in silverware and shirt sales by Europe’s big clubs, which are also global brands.
Their economics of a transfer extend beyond the pitch and into the club shop where a star name can shift product.
Pogba’s prodigal return to Manchester shows United are a business as well as a soccer team. Their profits depend not only on cash through the turnstiles, which is limited by ground capacity, but money in the club shop tills.
Most English Premier League teams go on tour to the Asia Pacific or America during the close season.
The trips are not so much for football but to give local soccer fans exposure to their brans in the hope they will buy merchandise, literally sold on the back of their star players in terms of shirts.