There was talk in the summer that Paul Pogba would become football’s first £100 million player.
Eventually, the Frenchman would go on to cost Manchester United £89m. Still mightily expensive, but not quite nine figures.
However, Pogba’s move from Juventus showed the enormous scale that football has reached, especially in England.
The Premier League’s new TV deal, worth £5.1 billion, is helping to fund extravagant transfer sprees. United spent £157.25m on three players in the summer at an average of more than £50m per player.
That, quite frankly, is insane.
Even Arsenal, the top four’s parsimonious club, couldn’t help joining in the splurge by signing Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez on the same day for around £52m.
It begs the question of when is it all going to stop?
Football’s rapid rise doesn’t look like it’s going to come to an end any time soon. It’s for that reason that super agent Jon Smith believes it’s only a matter of time before there is a £200m player - yes, two-hundred million pounds.
“Transfer fees and wages will keep on going up,” Smith said, per the Mirror. “I heard Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola say the other day that there will soon be a £200m fee - and I think he is right.”
Three or four years
Raiola, the man who brokered Pogba’s record signing, reckons the first £200m player is “three or four years” away.
And with increased transfer fees comes increases wages. Pogba is reportedly earning £290,000-a-week at Old Trafford but if that figure wasn’t enough to make your eyes water, Smith thinks footballers will soon earn nearly four times that much.
Smith, who authored the book ‘The Deal: Inside The World Of The Super-Agent’ thinks a player could soon earn £1m when the industry explores untapped markets, such as India.
“It is the same with wages,” he added. “Lewis Hamilton earns £1million every time he steps into a Formula One car, so why not footballers?
"These things are commensurate to what is happening in the game and the reality is that the Premier League is going to generate more than £9billion this season.
“So why shouldn’t footballers, who are the heartbeat of the game, share in the spoils?
“There are still a lot of untapped markets and resources, such as India, a country that fascinates me. In America, social media has driven sports fans to soccer. So we’ve got a way to go yet before we reach saturation point.”
To hear Smith admit that the Premier League can grow even bigger is pretty scary.
He continued: “There are big tech companies out there, like Google, Amazon and Facebook who could write out a cheque for £10billion to acquire the broadcast rights for Premier League football without batting an eyelid.
“But they don’t have to, because what is expanding alongside football is an exciting industry that very few people are paying attention to.
“The football industry is huge, but the chatter industry around football is even bigger. That’s a revenue source that hasn’t yet been tapped into but it will be – and the finance that will generate will be massive.”