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The winter transfer window which opens on 1 January 2008 may see some bargain bids from European football clubs looking to take advantage of the strength of the euro against sterling according to First Rate Exchange Services.

The mid season winter transfer window is traditionally far quieter than the summer window when the majority of big name transfers are made. However, with the euro over 20%* stronger against the pound compared to last year, this year’s winter transfer window presents European clubs with the opportunity to make some hard to resist offers to any UK clubs starting to feel the bite of the credit crunch on attendance figures.

Gordon Gourlay, Managing Director, First Rate Exchange Services commented: “The strength of the euro against the pound means we can expect to see an increase in bargain hunters from the continent visiting the UK to take advantage of great deals in the January sales – but this might not be limited to the high street. With the euro now at an all time high against the pound there’s never been a better time for European clubs to place their bids for UK based players.”

A comparison of euro prices for the top ten most expensive players purchased by English clubs during 2008, when the majority of purchases took place during the summer’s transfer window and the pound was already experiencing a ten per cent slump, confirms that bargains may exist for euro based clubs. For example, the most expensive transfer out of the English league to a European club during 2008 was Sulley Muntari at a fee of £12.7 million from Portsmouth to FC Internazionale in July. When converted into euros the transfer fee came to over €16 million only five months ago, but this would currently equate to almost €2 million less at €14.1 million.

Euro comparisons** for the top ten most expensive English league purchases during 2008 are as follows:

1. Robinho (£32.5m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 1/9/09 = €40,049. Current euro equivalent €36,231
2. Dimitar Berbartov (£30.75m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 1/9/09 = €37,893. Current euro equivalent €34,280
3. Robbie Keane (£19.5m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 28/07/08= €24,029. Current euro equivalent €21,181
4. Luka Modrić (£16.5m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 29/04/08 = €20,997. Current euro equivalent €18,394
5. José Bosingwa (£16.2m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 12/05/08 = €20,491. Current euro equivalent €18,059
6. David Bentley (£15m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 30/07/08 = €19,038. Current euro equivalent €16,722
7. Marouane Fellani (£15m) - euro cost as at transfer 01/09/08 =€18,484. Current euro equivelant €16,722
8. Roman Pavlyuchenko (£14m) - euro cost as at transfer date of 01/09/08 =€17,252. Current euro equivalent €15,607
9. James Milner (£12.7m) - euro cost as at transfer date 29/08/08 = €14,870. Current euro equivalent €13,377
10. Peter Crouch (£9m) - euro cost as at transfer date 08/07/08 = €11,304. Current euro equivalent €10,033


Notes to Editors:

1 Market Rate for the 16th December 2007 was 1.3258. Rate for 16th Dec 2008 is 1.0528.
2 All calculations based on FRES Market Rates.

Euro fee at transfer based on exchange rate for day of purchase. Current euro costs based on rates as at 16th December 2008


For further information, please contact:

Four Countries Communications
Ruth Barker
Tel: 0207 7499219
Mobile: 07814 571128

Bank of Ireland UK Financial Services
Sandra Grandison
Tel: 0203 201 6509
Mobile: 0791 229 8013

About First Rate Foreign Exchange Services

First Rate is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency services supplying over 12,000 retail outlets with a foreign currency service. It is the UK’s biggest foreign currency notes supplier and Europe’s major provider of traveller’s cheques and in the top five globally. First Rate sources currency through its associate business unit Bank of Ireland First Currency Services, one of the world’s leading wholesale currency operations.

First Rate can provide UK retailers and businesses with the following foreign currency services:

• Travel Money Online – a service enabling the ordering of foreign currency notes and traveller’s cheques securely via First Rate’s white label internet application

• Bulk provision of currency for currency retailers

• End-to-end consumer order processing – totally outsourced, white label currency solutions for phone, internet or retail outlet order placement.

To find out more visit

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