Money talks: How Sundowns’ financial muscle now rules on the continent

Chilean wizard Marcelo Allende is the most expensive ever in domestic football since his big-money move to Mamelodi Sundowns last year
Chilean wizard Marcelo Allende is the most expensive ever in domestic football since his big-money move to Mamelodi Sundowns last year
Lefty Shivambu

Champions-in-waiting Mamelodi Sundowns have powered their way to the top of the transfer spenders on the continent after muscling their way past traditional big spenders Al Ahly and Esperance in the last year.

This is according to FIFA’s annual Global Transfer Report 2022 based on transaction data provided by football clubs on the Transfer Matching System and running from last year up to January 3 this year.

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A disclaimer on the report states that FIFA assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided by the clubs. 

On the continent, Sundowns was the top spending club followed by Esperance (Tunisia) and Al Ahly (Egypt) with the rest of the clubs in the top 10 all from North Africa in Pyramids, Zamalek, Al Hilal, Ahly Tripoli, Ismaily, Raja Casablanca, and Future FC.

Last year, The Brazilians spent heavily in bringing Chilean international Marcelo Allende for what will ultimately reach USD 3 million (approx. R52 million) when he came in from Uruguayan club Montevideo City Torque.

marcelo allende

In the same window that Allende arrived at Chloorkop in, big money was also spent in bringing in Ronwen Williams and Sipho Mbule from SuperSport United, Terrence Mashego (Cape Town Town City), and Abdelmounaim Boutouil (SC Chabab Mohammedia) were snapped for figures rising reportedly totalling R40 million.

In the previous window, Erwin Saavedra (Bolivar), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United), Surprise Ralani (Cape Town City), and Abubeker Ahmed Nasir (Ethiopian Coffee) came in for what is believed to have been a combined R32 million. 

Manchester United were the top spenders in the UEFA rankings.

Famous Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas had the most outgoing transfers on the continent with 21 players heading out.

All top 10 clubs in this list from West and North Africa with Esperance and Raja the only clubs featuring on both lists.

CAF totals spent were at USD 14,5 million (approx. R252 million) for 1901 incoming transfers while USD71,2 million (approx. R1,2 36 billion) was made from 2698 outgoing transfers. 

Only two confederations (CAF and CONMEBOL) made more than they spent through the year with CONMEBOL on USD430 million (approx. R7,4 billion) in surplus while CAF was on USD55 million (approx. R955 million).

In the amateur ranks, South Africa had 56 incoming transfers and 83 in the opposite direction with USD4,9 million (approx. R85 million) spent while no figures were gathered on what was received from the selling clubs.

Egyptian clubs also spent the exact same amount and made USD 11,2 million (approx. R194 million) off their sales listed as receipts from (transfer) fees.

Transfers within the CAF region went up 73,7% to 917 while those headed outside the continent were at 2804 (52,6% increment).

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