Is Bale the Real deal? New Frontier Economics bulletin

Following the close of the mid-season football transfer window, Frontier (Europe)’s latest bulletin considers whether some clubs may be paying over the odds to attract top talent. Applying the same techniques used to value assets in many other industries to data on footballers’ performance, Frontier’s analysis of transfers from the summer of 2013 suggests that:

  • Real Madrid’s world-record £88m signing Gareth Bale was worth just £66m at the time of his transfer;
  • Tottenham Hotspur overpaid to replace Bale; and
  • Arsène Wenger struck on a bargain by bringing £53m-rated Mesut Özil to Arsenal for only £44m.

Did Real Madrid pay too much for its latest “Galáctico” – or wasn’t it all about the game? As the bulletin suggests, transfer fees may also reflect the wider commercial benefits of transfers, which are not necessarily captured by player performance data.

Frontier regularly works on valuation exercises and in the sports and creative industries.

For more information, please Andrew Leicester at or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000.

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