27 Aug 2011

REVEALED: Top 10 Liverpool FC transfer fee myths/inaccuracies

Given the confidential nature of player contracts, real transfer fee levels are rarely released into the public domain. This leads to guesswork and supposition on a grand scale, which leads inaccurate figures floating around. Here are the some of the glaring inaccuracies currently accepted as gospel.

The incorrect figures quoted here have been compiled from several LFC sites. The correct figures come from the club's official accounts.


MYTH 1: Xabi Alonso (£10.7m), Luis Garcia (£6m) + Antonio Nunez (£1.5m) bought for £18.2m

Reality: Combined cost = £13m.

More: The REAL cost of Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia

MYTH 2: Xabi Alonso sold for £30m
Reality: Sale fee = £24.3m (£29.7m minus fees for Voronin + Dossena)

More: The truth about Xabi Alonso's alleged 30m transfer fee

MYTH 3: Jan Kromkamp was free as part of a player exchange with Josemi
Reality: Kromkamp cost £4.3m.

More: The REAL cost of Jan Kromkamp's transfer to Liverpool

MYTH 4: Alberto Aquilani's fee is to be paid in installments.
Reality: The full amount has already been paid.

It's true that Roma posted a breakdown on their website of how Aquilani's fee was to be paid in installments. However, as the accounts clearly show, that arrangement changed at some point and the full fee was paid up front.

MYTH 5: Gabriel Paletta was sold for £1.2m.

Reality: Actually sold for £500k *but* the club made a £1.5m loss on the sale as a result of a £2m impairment charge.

MYTH 6: Albert Riera cost £8m
Reality: He cost less than £7m

MYTH 7: Liverpool sold Robbie Keane for £16m
Reality: The club made an £8m loss (at least)

MYTH 8: Andrea Dossena sold for £4.7m
Reality: Actual sale fee was 4.2m Euros, which is £3.5m (approx)

LFC.tv is owned by Liverpool FC, and its figures come directly from those in the know at the club. It is obviously a trustworthy source.

MYTH 9: Dirk Kuyt cost £9m
Reality: He cost £10m

MYTH 10: Patrice Luzi was a free transfer
Reality: He cost a couple of million (approx)

Most sites report Salif Diao's transfer fee as anywhere between £4.5-£5m (LFChistory has it at £4.7m). If those figures are correct, then Luzi cost between £1-£2m.

MYTH 11: Kirkland, Traore, Barragan, Mellor and Kromkamp were sold for a combined £8.4m.

Reality: The Club received a pitiful £4.5m for the lot, ahich represents quite a significant loss on the original combined outlay.


1. According to Deloitte, under accounting requirements, the cost of acquiring a player’s registration includes:

* The transfer fee payable

* Any probable contingent amounts (i.e. Fees that may become payable/receivable in the future depending on certain conditions being fulfilled)

* Other direct costs such as transfer fee levy and fees to agents.

The club's accounting policies adhere to these guidelines.

2. Acquiring a player's registration = paying money to buy a player.

3. Signing-on fees are not included in the transfer fee figure. They are accounted for entirely separately (Evidence HERE)

4. Some items are on post balance sheet events because they took place after the accounting period deadline of 31 July. Thus, they will not be on the balance sheet. This is standard practice, and doesn't make any difference to the validity of the figures.

Note: I first posted these figures in an article last year as part of my LFC Myths series.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Decent article, but the basis is a bit sensationalist, as very few of the "Myths" have ever come up before. Maybe fees were reported in the press, but are hardly newsworthy.

  2. All this work to show that the media are inaccurate!! Well you really have time to spare mate cause your stating the obvious here. Altough you have to remember that at the end of the day it balances out. Maybe we sold xabi for a bit less than 30 mil but then as you said we got Riera cheaper. At the end what interests us is to have an idea of the fee doesnt have to be the exact fee.
    Just to give an example would you mind if it comes out that we actually spent 38mil on carroll instead of the reported fee of 35mil? Well I would still drop him to the bench until either suarez or kuyt is injured. Would you give a toss if it came out that we paid 30mil for suarez  intead of the 23 or 26mil we spent. Hehe just to give you an idea of how much I don't care I already forgot his fee :)

  3. not my money,not bothered, was part of a regime that lacked business sense. hopefully fsg are a lot more prudent with their money.