The impact of the global economic downturn and the introduction of UEFA's financial fair play regulations have resulted in a sizeable reduction in transfer spending, according to the latest biannual report from FIFA's Transfer Matching System (TMS), reports SportBusiness.

The report, covering the six months between January 1 and June 30 this year, states that 9% fewer international transfers were completed compared to the same period in 2011.

A total of 4,973 player moves were recorded by the TMS, with 72% of those deals involving players who had reached the end of their contracts at their previous clubs.

The total value of deals during the first six months of 2012 was recorded at US$576 million, a 34% drop on the $870 million registered during the 2011 window.

FIFA said Brazil proved the most active nation in the transfer market with 700 players entering or leaving the country, compared to second-placed England's 326 players. Brazilian clubs also earned the most money from transfer fees, securing $64.9 million in revenue.

Russia proved the biggest spender in the first six months of this year with $64.4 million, followed by Brazil ($62 million), France ($57.4 million), England ($55.4 million) and China ($40.9 million).

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