Manchester Derby Is The World's Most Expensive Sporting Match, For Now
Think the Super Bowl is expensive? Today's soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City of the English Premier League may have had the honor of being the richest sporting event on the planet. According to the Wall Street Journal if you add up the players on the field and on the two benches in the Manchester Derby, they totaled approximately $850 million to acquire. Compare that to U.S. teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox (approximately $380 million) or the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins (around $350 million). And this isn't even the most expensive of all possible matches. Next month when Manchester City and Chelsea square off that's a total of $900 million.
Soccer has a disadvantage compared to U.S. professional team sports, the soccer clubs don't have to just pay the players, they have to pay the player's current club an additional "transfer fee." That makes moving players around pretty costly and yet, as American sports fans know, great teams are built through precisely the sorts of deals. The Wall Street Journal breaks down the dollar figures for each player. Between these two teams a total of $600 million went to transfer fees.
The investment paid off for Manchester United which was victorious 2-1 after a stunner of a shot by very expensive player Wayne Rooney.