Analyzing and Identifying Markets for Transfers


When the off-season hits, there’s a laundry list of things to do. Clubs need to analyze their own team to understand where to strengthen, who to keep, what type of players to go after, etc, etc. One of those things that could be added to the list is analyzing what markets to enter for finding players to transfer.

One may ask, “why would a club limit themselves to certain markets? Doesn’t that limit the amount of players a club could potentially sign?” The short answer is yes. However, I’m all about efficiency, and if that means I have a better chance of signing a player, I’m going to focus my attention there.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • Location
  • Playing Level
  • Wages


Location is maybe the least exciting point, but it’s important to note that some players may not be open to traveling across the world to play at your club. Or, if they do, they may want to come to your club for a salary that is way out of your price range and/or above their value. However, if you’re in a country with a high standard of living and little corruption, it may be possible to sway those players. Put simply, you want players that want to come to your club, and it MAY be easier if they’re closer to you.

Playing Level

When trying to bring in players, I’m a big believer in strengthening your weakest link, so it’s important to bring in a player that is at or above the current playing level of your club. Quantifying this can be a bit difficult, but there’s a couple ways of doing it. Some data providers have this information, while another way may be trial and error. Where have we had success or failure before? Keep looking in places of success and stop looking in places of failure.


A huge reason to stop any transfer is a player’s wage. Often times a player and/or club won’t be interested if the player is asking for too much or the club is asking for too little. That’s why it’s important to know what leagues have similar or lower wages to yours. You don’t want to go barking up the wrong tree and propose certain wages when that player is currently on three times the offer. This is maybe the biggest part of analyzing markets.

To round things up, I’ll give an example: Let’s say you’re a club in Austria’s 2nd Division.

Location: You have a great country, with a high standard of living (according to the United Nations Development Program, Austria ranks 20th, in the world), and you’re next to countries that have a lesser standard of living like, Serbia (ranked 63rd), Bosnia (ranked 75th), and Albania (ranked 69th). So now, you have a proximity and higher standard of living value.

Playing Level: For the sake of time, I’ll focus on the countries I mentioned above. In comparison to your league, Austria’s 2nd Division, Serbia’s 1st Division is only slightly better, Bosnia’s is slightly worse, and same with Albania, slightly worse. Looks like we have some opportunities!

Wages: Now let’s say we find out Serbia’s wages are quite large and we’d only be able to afford the lesser players. Pass. Bosnia’s is about even, which is great because we can still afford the best players from the league, since they’re slightly below our level. Lastly, we find out Albania doesn’t pay their players a lot. Here we can target the best players, because the level is slightly below us, and maybe get the most bang for our buck since we may not have to break the bank on trying to convince these players to sign for us.

And there you have it! We’ve identified potential markets to look into, found out those markets are about even in level, and their wages (in theory) are around the same as ours. Now we can get some deals done.

This is obviously a very simplified version of the exercise when analyzing markets, but I hope it paints the picture of what is possible with this information. I’m happy to provide a more thorough analysis, along with other analyses, to your club, league, or organization, upon request.

I encourage you to check out my consulting page, here.