GENEVA - Just five football clubs spent almost a quarter of the $US3.7billion ($F6.9billion) splurged on international transfer deals processed by FIFA in 2013.
Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Tottenham and Real Madrid spent $US828million ($F1.5billion) in cross-border trades, according to figures published yesterday by FIFA, which clears such deals only when both clubs involved file mandatory financial details.
The market peaked with Madrid's record 100 million euros ($A157million) ($F258million) buy of Gareth Bale from Tottenham in August.
"There are just a very few clubs making very big moves and that is skewing the market, but the rest of the market is very stable," FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) general manager Mark Goddard told reporters.
Global spending rose 41 per cent year-on-year according to the annual TMS report, which excludes deals between two clubs in the same country.
FIFA cited three main reasons for the spending rise: so-called "super-clubs", the English Premier League's spiralling broadcast rights value and high turnover of coaches at leading clubs.
Monaco's lavish spending — including on Colombia forward Radamel Falcao — followed a takeover by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, while PSG and Man City are backed by the Qatar and Abu Dhabi ruling families, respectively.
Tottenham reinvested after selling Wales winger Bale, while Madrid's commercial income of $US703 million last season led all clubs for a ninth year.