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West Ham's 80million man

Filed: Thursday, 13th September 2018
By: Staff Writer

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk may hold the world record transfer fee for a defender - but even that is eclipsed by the sale of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds United using 'football player inflation'.

The team behind the Totally Money website have taken the average transfer values of players since the Premier League began in 1992 and compared the increase in transfer costs over time.

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From this, TM calculated what they refer to as 'football player inflation' - leading to some startling results when assessing the value of transfer fees since the league's inception in 1992.

Ferdinand, who left West Ham in order to join Leeds United set the Yorkshire club back some 18million in 2000 - an enormous figure then, and one that set a new world record for a defender, but according to football player inflation equivalent to an astonishing 89.5million in today's money.

And the former England international was some considerable distance clear of West Ham's second most expensive sale using the inflation index - with John Hartson's 7million switch to the now-defunct Wimbledon in 1999 being worth in the region of 49million these days.

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On the other side of the coin, the club's most expensive outlay using the index was the 6million spent on Matthew Upson in 2006 - a figure worth an incredible 42million in today's money, allowing for football player inflation.

The Premier League's most expensive player of all time, according to the index is Andriy Shevchenko, who moved from AC Milan to Chelsea for 29.4million in 2007 - a figure now worth 144.4million.

However that is of course dwarved by Neymar's world record transfer fee of 198m, set when moving from Barcelona to Paris St Germain in August 2017.

West Ham Utd: top five sales (FPI index)

1. Rio Ferdinand (19m, Leeds Utd) - 79m
2. John Hartson (7m, Wimbledon) - 49m
3. Frank Lampard (11m, Chelsea) - 48.8m
4. Craig Bellamy (12.5m, Man City) - 32.9m
5. Jermain Defoe (7m, Tottenham) - 32.1m

West Ham Utd: Top five purchases (FPI Index)

1. Matthew Upson (6m, Birmingham City) - 42m
2. John Hartson (3.5m, Arsenal) -34m
3. Felipe Anderson (34m, Lazio) - 34m
4. Dean Ashton (7m, Norwich City) - 3.1m
5. Kieron Dyer (8m, Newcastle Utd) - 28.8m

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