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International Transfer Expenditure Drops by More Than 30 Percent; Premier League’s New Pay-Per-View Plan and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): International transfer spending drops over 30%, says FIFA report 10 | Premier League to switch five games a week to pay-per-view | After shoot-out drama, could all British Home Nations make it to the Euros? | Aston Villa's next two WSL games called off after positive Covid-19 tests | AFC moves all East Asia Champions League games to Qatar.
FIFA report on club transfer spendings in 2020

FIFA announced that clubs all over the world just spent $3.92 billion between June 1 and October 5 as compared to $5.8 billion last year.


The money spent on international transfers in the transfer season saw a drop of more than 30% compared to last year because of the pandemic, FIFA said in a report.

FIFA announced that clubs all over the world just spent $3.92 billion between June 1 and October 5 as compared to $5.8 billion last year.

The number of transfers also saw a drop from 9,087 to 7,424, showing a 18% decline, the report said. The number of those transfers that were fee based was 1,623 compared to 1,222, marking a 25% drop.

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"Following the interruption of football for more than three months at the tail end of last season... spending on transfer fees in men’s professional football declined significantly," said the report.

European clubs were seen as the biggest spenders with a total spending of $3.78 billion. Of that, $1.25 billion was spent by English clubs with a close second being the Italian teams ($544 million) and Spanish sides ($487 million).

EPL’s pay-per-view plan

The Premier League made a deal with the domestic television broadcasters for games that did not carry normal broadcast slots and will be shown via pay-per-view.

So far this season, BT Sport and Sky Sports are broadcasting all of the Premier League matches since it is a part of the existing football packages.

But under the new interim plan, matches that don’t get played in a normal slot, mostly the Saturday 3pm local (1400 GMT) fixtures, will now be available to pay-per-view platforms.

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"Under these new arrangements, the current live match selections will remain in place and will be broadcast as normal," the league said in a statement.

"In addition, the five matches per round not already selected will be made available to supporters on a pay-per-view basis, accessed via BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

"The  agreement will be regularly reviewed in consultation with clubs and in line with any decisions made by the Government regarding the return of spectators to stadiums," it added.

All Home Nations in Euros? 

It is 62 years since all four British home nations qualified together for the European Championship. But after Wednesday's Euro 2020 penalty shoot-out playoff, we could see history repeating itself.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are just one match away from qualification for next year's European Championship and look at the possibility of joining Wales and England in the finals.

The last time all four made it to the finals of a big tournament was in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.

This year, Scotland beat Israel during the penalties after the teams tied to a goalless full-time  and will now face Serbia on Nov. 12.

"It's a big chance. We spoke about hopefully making a small piece of history for the team," Scotland manager Steve Clarke said, noting that the Serbia game will be a "tough trip and tough ask".

"We still have that in front of us. That was the objective, to make sure we are in the (playoff) final next month and we have achieved that."

Northern Ireland will now host Slovakia after it won against Bosnia and Herzegovina after a 1-1 draw.

Villa WSL Matches Called Off 

The English Football Association (FA) stated that the next two games of Aston Villa at the Women Super League (WSL) have been postponed following a positive case in the first team squad of the club.

"Aston Villa Women can confirm that a member of our first-team squad has tested positive for COVID-19,” said the club’s statement. "Several other members of the squad will also enter a period of self-isolation.”

"Due to these developments, we have since agreed with the FA to postpone our next two fixtures, against Bristol City (October 11th) and Chelsea (October 17th),” added the statement. “Aston Villa’s main priority now is the health and safety of their players, staff, and opponents.” 

The women’s side has been training separately from the men’s team since the Coronavirus outbreak.

Aston Villa is 11th in the 12-team standing and have lost each of its three games this season after being promoted to the top-flight.

East Asia Champions League Games

The Asian Football  Confederation (AFC) on Friday announced that it has moved the remaining Asian Champions League games for East zone sides to Qatar from Malaysia in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The games will be held from November 18 to December 13 in Doha, where West zone matches were concluded. 

“We are extremely grateful for the outstanding support of the QFA (Qatar Football Association),” AFC secretary general Dato Windsor John said in an earlier statement.“We can now build on the success of the AFC Champions League (West) while looking forward to the remaining exciting matches in Asia’s premier club competition.”

The local organisers confirmed that all team members along with visitors will be tested upon arrival and throughout the tournament.

“We are very happy to provide a safe environment for the AFC in order to complete the AFC Champions League and look forward to hosting the leading clubs from the east of the region during November and December,” QFA general secretary Mansoor Al Ansari said in a statement.

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