Just How do Football Transfers work?
September 03, 2015
Nobody can argue that the end of the transfer wasn’t a little interesting. Not for the big money transfers that came through, like the £55million transfer of Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City, or the staggering move of Anthony Martial to Manchester United, but the whole debacle surrounding their goalkeeper David De Gea who failed to secure a move to Real Madrid.
Which got us thinking, amongst the blame game both clubs are currently playing, how does a transfer actually go through? What are the processes?
There is a lot of work that goes into the transfer of players, and here’s our understanding of exactly how a transfer unfolds…
The Typical Transfer…
In basic terms, the transfer process begins when a club makes a formal, written offer for a player that is accepted. There may be informal queries made regarding the player’s availability prior to this point, although nothing can happen until this has been finalised and agreed. Once this juncture is reached, it is the job of the player or more specifically his agent to negotiate a host of personal terms, including both professional and financial elements of a specific contract. More specifically, agents will negotiate terms such as loyalty bonuses, image rights, and rewards for achieving success as part of a team.
It is also the job of the agent to discuss other terms such as playing time, as these will have a direct impact on whether or not the player accepts an offer. This issue is complicated further in instances where there are multiple bids accepted for a player, as agents must then consider all of these factors and compare them to achieve the best possible resolution.
With this in mind, it is crucial that a player’s potential role is determined as part of contract negotiations, especially if all parties are to be satisfied with the transfer.
The Agent’s role and Cut
The legitimacy of agents is often debated at length, but there is no doubt that they play an integral role in modern-day transfers. This is partially because they will negotiate a fee for their work, which is usually a percentage of the agreed transfer price. An agent can only be remunerated by one party, while all monies must be disclosed precisely.
Once all terms and fees have been agreed, the deal is ready to be finalised and unveiled to the world. Given the complexity of these negotiations and the individual elements that need to be agreed, it is little wonder that transfers can be drawn out affairs that do are not always completed.