FIFA president Gianni Infantino has again floated the idea of determining transfer fees by using a computer algorithm. The notion has been discussed several times in recent years by the governing body of the sport. However, Infantino once again talked about the potential move at FIFA’s annual law conference on Friday.

“Now more than ever it is fundamental for us to talk about these and other topics,” Infantino told the soccer lawyers at the Tokyo event.

“For example, to discuss about the possibility to use an algorithm to estimate the fair value of transfer fees in order to increase transparency in the transfer system and help the football stakeholders.”

Clubs do not want FIFA to intervene on transfer fees

It remains to be seen how clubs would feel about the potential decision of FIFA determining transfer fees. Nevertheless, teams would see pros and cons to the move. Clubs have regularly welcomed bidding wars on high-profile players for decades now. This obviously would not occur in the proposed FIFA plan.

Most selling clubs would want the current setup to remain in place. After all, they currently get to determine how much money they want for every player on the team. Clubs down on their luck may also possibly miss out on selling players due to potential fees set by the algorithm.

However, and certainly unlikely, this computer algorithm may also determine that some players are worth more than what the teams were originally planning to sell for. On the other hand, buying clubs would see similar advantages and disadvantages to the possible rule change.

Along with the teams, FIFA would also have to deal with the European Union (EU). And a recent Court of Justice ruling by the EU went against the governing body. The court determined that FIFA abused its power in attempting to block the European Super League from forming. The governing body also acted unlawfully by threatening clubs from joining to breakaway division.

Governing body, Infantino have talked about algorithms for transfer fees for years

FIFA brass have discussed implementing an algorithm to set transfer fees sporadically since 2017. This came as the organization created a transfer task force that year. However, an official proposal has never been carried out.

Interestingly enough, 2017 was a major year in soccer transfer news. Paris Saint-Germain splashed some serious cash to sign both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in August of that year. Neymar’s move from Barcelona cost the Ligue 1 club about $240 million.

Just four weeks later, PSG then brought in Mbappe on an initial loan from fellow French side Monaco. Although the deal was technically temporary at first, PSG agreed to pay Monaco $200 million for the superstar. No transfer fee has since reached this astronomical price tag.

Nevertheless, the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES) has recently revealed that they value several players at over $240 million. This includes Real Madrid trio Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior, and Rodrygo. Erling Haaland and Bukayo Saka are also supposedly worth at least this much in the transfer market as well. CIES analyzes data on soccer players from all over the world.