ZURICH (AP) — FIFA's transfer monitoring subsidiary processed $4.1 billion worth of cross-border player deals in 2014, with England the biggest spender.
Transfer Matching System director Mark Goddard says English clubs spent $1.2 billion on importing players last year.
Goddard says clubs worldwide paid agents and other player representatives $236 million in commission from transfers involving players who moved between different countries.
The FIFA system approves cross-border transfers only when both clubs have input mandatory and matching financial details. Goddard says FIFA handled 1,793 requests from clubs seeking exemptions to sign youth players from abroad.
Rules on transferring minors were highlighted when FIFA blocked Barcelona from signing any players for one year for violations. Goddard says the Barcelona players "were not in the system," forcing FIFA to act.