BERLIN (Reuters) – The huge increase in football transfer fees is both dangerous for the game and risks alienating fans, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said yesterday.
The world transfer record was shattered this month when Brazil’s Neymar moved from Barcelona to Paris St Germain in a deal worth $265.27 million, more than double the previous highest price paid for a player.
The staggering spending did not stop there, however, and Ousmane Dembele then joined Barca from Borussia Dortmund last week, with the Frenchman’s move costing up to $180 million, including bonuses, the second highest deal in history.
Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe has also been linked in the media with a move to PSG in a deal reported to be worth $210 million.
“In my opinion there is no player in the world worth $120 million,” Hoeness told SportBild magazine.
“I do not want to buy a player for $120 million even if I had the money. That would be too much of a waste of money,” said Hoeness, who reclaimed the Bayern presidency last year after serving a prison term for tax evasion.
The Bavarians, five-time European champions, are among the richest clubs in the world with an annual turnover of more than half a billion euros and a fixed deposit account bulging with almost $240 million.
“We have reached a point where we have to be damned careful. Because there is a point where maybe the fan has had enough,” he added.
“In all honesty, it is time to go back to proportionality. For a long time there was fear of agents, of players etc. Now we have to say ‘enough is enough’.”