Transfer news: The 11 weirdest fees ever paid for a footballer


The January transfer window can be a truly wild time.

Deals are done and contacts hurried as teams desperately try to paper over the cracks that have begun to show over the course of their season.

On rare occasions, clubs manage to pull off incredible signings but more often than not, they wake up at some point in February with a throbbing head and swathes of regret.

While transfers these days tend to contain more zero's than we would care to count, there have been occasions when a spot of quid pro quo has been more than enough to see two teams come to an accord.

So, with that in mind, we thought we would take a look at some of the weirdest fees ever paid for a player in the history of the beautiful game.

Ernie Blenkinsop - Hudworth to Hull

The world of football looked a lot different back in in the 1920's but that doesn't mean some form of payment wasn't still required.

Hull really splashed out on this occasion, sending over £100 and a barrel of beer for Blenkinsop in one of the most wholesome transfer deals we can think of. 

Hudworth went on to lose their next game 16-0. Ouch.

Zat Knight - Rushall Olympic to Fulham


You wouldn't be alone in saying that you've never heard of Rushall Olympic. 

However, the Walsall club negotiated a stellar deal as they landed 30 lovely tracksuits for the future England defender.

Kenneth Kristensen - Vindbjart to Floey

We can't imagine that the Norwegian third division is absolutely swimming in cash so it comes as no surprise that they find alternative ways to get a deal done.

On this occasion, the commodity of choice was a pile of fresh shrimp, with Floey shelling out Kristensen's entire weight to secure his signature.

Gary Pallister - Billingham to Middlesborough

England's future defensive colossus was valued at a set of kit, a bag of balls and a goal net at the time of his move to 'Boro.


Deal of the century? Well, considering the fact that he would later move to Manchester United for £2.3 million, it could possibly be.

Ion Radu - Valcea to Jiul Petrosani 

Transfer fees can come in pretty meaty sums these days, but there was once a time when actual meat was more than adequate compensation.

However, quantifying just how much meat a player was worth proved to be a sticky wicket and you can't help but feel that Jiul Petrosani overpaid as they forked over two tons of beef and pork to land Radu.

John Barnes - Sudbury Court to Watford

The Liverpool cult hero took a bit of a winding road to Anfield glory.

At the time of his move to Watford, he was valued at just a measly set of football kit.


What a deal.

Marius Cioara - UT Arad to Regal Hornia 

Sticking to the butchers block theme, we go to Romania where Regal Hornia porked out 15 kilograms of sausages for the signing of Cioara.

Bizarrely, he retired only a day later, leaving Hornia in a fierce mood as they demanded their sausages back. We can neither confirm nor deny whether or not the beef was ever settled. 

Daniel Allende - Central Espanol to Rentistas

The last of our meaty adventures takes us to Uruguay where we find one of the most sophisticated portein payments you could ever hope to see.

Rentistas agreed to sign Allende for the cut price deal of 550 steaks, split up into payments of 25 steaks a week.

Just imagine the scenes at the club barbecue.

Ian Wright -Greenwich Borough to Crystal Palace


The Arsenal legend was a bit of a late comer to football. He would eventually go on to become one of the most menacing goal scorers of all time, but his early career painted a very different picture.

He got his break in the Football League when Palace handed over a paltry set of weights to Greenwich Borough for his services.

Collins John - DES Nijverdal to FC Twente


John would eventually go on to sign for Fulham for £600,000 but he wasn't always considered that valuable.

In fact, as a 17-year-old, he was snapped up by FC Twente for the knowledgable sum of a set of encyclopaedias and related material, donated to a local high school in Nijverdal.

Franco Di Santo - Audax Italiano

Franco di Santo was once released by Wigan, before being promptly snapped up by Werder Bremen. However, his signature didn’t always come this cheap.

When he made his first move to Audax Italiano, a princely fee of two goal nets and 40 litres of paint was agreed upon. A couple of years later he was palmed off to Chelsea, for the more unrealistic figure of £3.4 million.

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