The international transfer market is experiencing a sharp decline in the number of completed deals and the size of the fees involved, Fifa figures have revealed.
According to the governing body's Transfer Matching System (TMS), there has been a nine per cent reduction in transactions between teams from different countries over the first six months of 2012 and the cumulative total of revenue generated has fallen by 34%, to €469 million.
"We still have to see what happens in July and August, when European transfer windows are open, to see if this [drop] is just a dip or part of a continuing trend," Isabelle Solal, head of integrity and compliance at Fifa TMS, told the BBC News website.
"However, if I personally was asked to pick reasons, I would say it is still because of economic recession and the impact of the Uefa financial fair play sanctions.
"Clubs are making an effort to balance their books, but things should be clearer by September."
From the 2013-14 season on, Uefa will be able to ban clubs who have not complied with their football-related expenditure regulations from competing in European competition.