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Premiership clubs urged to sell, sell, sell

Premiership clubs are being encouraged to sell, sell, sell if they're to get value for money in this summer's market. England have always boasted Europe's biggest spending clubs, but the fluctuating pound is becoming a major factor in Premiership transfer spending - which was never more evident than Sunderland's on-off deal for on-loan Olympique Marseille striker Djibril Cisse.

It is understood the fee Sunderland agreed was around £10million, although because it was set in Euros, the weakness of the pound since meant it could have amounted to nearer £13million.

Following the launch of Deloitte's Premiership club profit figures last week, foreign exchange specialist Foremost Currency is now highlighting the impact of currency fluctuation on the instalments teams paid for Eurozone players this season.

Exchange rates against the euro have fluctuated enormously, from highs of 1.26 (in September) to lows of 1.03 at the end of the 2009 season, meaning that clubs could have been paying 18% more for their euro players than they were at the beginning of the season. This is the equivalent of a potential loss of £53 million* (about the worth of a Kaka or a Carlos Tevez), as a result of fluctuating exchange rates.

Rates have improved in recent weeks but remain at 1.15, a 15% drop from the beginning of the season.

The issue of foreign exchange is now increasingly on the radar of the Premiership's money men.

Middlesbrough misfit Afonso Alves, for example, is now costing the club more as a result of the pound's weak position against the euro. Middlesbrough is now paying a considerably higher fee in instalments for the player, who was originally purchased for £12.7 million last year, when the rate was 70 pence to the euro.

Robin McEwen, MD of Foremost Currency Group comments, "If the pound continues to gain ground on the euro, buying foreign talent will become more affordable for English clubs. Managers buying today should be looking to purchase at 87 pence to the euro; a high for the year so far.

"However, for clubs with less money to play around with, it would be advisable to hold out until the rate reaches 82/ 83 pence to the euro, which is likely to happen towards the end of the transfer window in September."

McEwen continues, "The reverse is true for those clubs looking to sell back to the Eurozone, and so if new Chelsea boss (Carlo) Ancelotti does want to offload (Didier) Drogba he should be looking to sell now before the pound makes any further upward movements.

"Furthermore, relegated bosses like Newcastle's (Alan) Shearer, that have been forced into a fire-sale, should also be selling their want-away stars to euro clubs now to save hundreds of thousands of valuable pounds."

So the mantra coming from the likes of Wolves, Stoke City and Hull is spot on. There's no need for panic from fans about a lack of early market business.

And as for Newcastle United, well, you first need a manager before deciding who to sell. The Toon may be missing the boat again.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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