This study considers the football transfer market as a network and analyzes how characteristics of a football club’s player transfer network activities influence club performance. We use data on 23,220 unique football clubs from 189countries from 1996 through 2016. Our results show that for sport performance the best strategy is to have well-established relations with a limited number of partner clubs, especially in the domestic league. However, transfer policy focused on international deals improves financial performance of football clubs. These findings provide club management with insights on optimal transfer policy with regard to the balance between sport and financial performance.