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Can Premier League afford big money signings?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 01:44

The English Premier League is the richest soccer league in the world, as demonstrated by Manchester United's latest star signing. Sara Hemrajani looks at why there's so much money in the sport.

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You're looking at the world's most expensive soccer player. Paul Pogba is returning to Manchester United on a five-year contract reportedly worth nearly $116 million - that's a weekly wage of about $380,000. The transfer fee tops the previous record of $111 million, which is what Real Madrid forked out for Gareth Bale in 2013. And with Premier League clubs seeing their revenues surge, analysts say they won't be surprised if those headline numbers keep multiplying. SOUNDBITE: Jeremy Stretch, Head of FX Strategy, CIBC, saying: "In a sense, of course, that's a reflection of the ongoing broadcasting deals that continue to be signed, particularly here in the UK which has, of course, provided the Premier League clubs with a new wave of cash which is helping finance a slew of spending across this summer." Besides the lucrative broadcast deals, Asia's biggest economy is also pouring money into the sport. With China angling to be a soccer superpower, there are likely to be even more multi-million signings and acquisitions. SOUNDBITE: David Webber, University of Warwick, saying (English): "No other country, certainly in Europe really, and certainly not in Latin America, are you going to see a government quite prepared to throw money at the sport to anywhere near the extent the Chinese government is doing." As for Pogba, he'll certainly be under pressure to give Man U a return on their investment. United haven't challenged strongly for the Premier League title since Alex Ferguson led them to the trophy three years ago.

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Can Premier League afford big money signings?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 01:44