Al Jazeera Net reveals the secrets of the transfer market and the spending of billions

Three words in English from an Italian journalist, Fabrizio Romano, have become the gateway to the player transfer market in its summer and winter branches. Each publication opens the door to the hidden world of deals whose movement is estimated at billions of dollars, and all of this before two clubs or a player announces his transfer.

“Here We Go” means that the deal is completed, that the player is close to signing for this or that team, and that an agreement has occurred between the three parties (the two clubs, the seller, the buyer, and the player) on the value of the deal, the player’s salary, variables or additions, and even the player’s agent’s commission. .

A complex process that may require months of negotiation, submission of offers, rejection, raising the value of the deal, and the entry of intermediaries to complete it. All of this is done away from the limelight, and the deal is not completed until the player passes the necessary medical examinations, and then the player is presented to the fans.

In the past – before the “Romano era” of reliable journalism – there was false news, ambiguous expectations, rumors, and fabrications that influenced the fans of the teams either positively or negatively. With Romano (30 years old), who was honest in conveying information and publishing the correct news that he took only from reliable sources, the fans became aware of all the stages of the deal process, from the time the team expressed the desire to include the player until the completion or failure of the deal.

In this report, Al Jazeera Net attempts to cover all the details of this arduous, exhausting and expensive process, and to explore the depths of this hidden world.

What does it mean for a player to move from one club to another?

It is a commercial transaction between two clubs that results – in the event of an agreement – in the transfer of a player from one club to another. If the player is bound by a contract, the buying team will pay the selling team an agreed-upon amount. If his contract has expired or will expire, the process is called a free or free transfer.

Before diving into the seas of this process, it is necessary to point out that the current summer transfer market – which is called “the Mercato” (an Italian word meaning market) – has exceeded all expectations and shattered all previously recorded numbers.

According to a report by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), transfer fees amounted to 7 billion and 360 million dollars, an increase of 47.2% over 2022, and 26.8% over the previous record recorded in 2019.

Several factors are taken into account in determining the value of the player’s deal, the most prominent of which are:

  • Player quality
  • The duration of his contract with his team
  • Its current market value
  • The potential future value of the player

How does the transition happen?

In principle, the transfer occurs when the two teams agree to buy and sell the player. It begins with the team’s desire to sign a specific player, and an official of the team wishing to buy the player submits an official request to the team that owns his contract. If the latter is open to selling his player, the player is asked for his opinion, and the player’s agent and the team surrounding him usually intervene in this process.

Then the door opens for discussion between the two clubs regarding the value of the deal, then the additions and variables. Will the club that wants to sell the player have any percentage of his sale in the future? In addition to other financial and commercial aspects, each contract differs from the next according to what the negotiations between the parties reach.

After agreeing with the club, the team wishing to buy must negotiate with the player and his agent over his salary and the rest of the personal terms in the contract, its duration, bonuses, variables therein, rights to sell photos, and many other matters.

After agreeing on the personal terms, the player must pass the medical examinations to determine his physical condition and whether there is any previous injury that may recur, and the result of the medical examinations affects the value of the deal.

What was mentioned in the previous paragraph is the ideal picture of the transition, but there are – as in every business – processes that take place in detours.

One of these methods is to circumvent the club and communicate directly with the player or his agent by tempting him with a large financial or football offer before going through the official channels of the club with which he has a contract.

There is also another way not to negotiate with the club that owns the player’s contract, which is for his contract to include a penalty clause, as the club wishing to buy him activates it and pays the amount to the club to which the player belongs without any negotiation, and instead negotiates with the player the personal terms of the contract.

Business agents…a profession that generates millions

In this way, Rafiq plays a decisive role in bringing the deal to safety. He is the business agent who receives millions of dollars not only from managing the player’s business, but also for every transfer deal concluded by his client. The “fees” of the business agent or “legal representative” are usually a percentage. of the deal, and sometimes they demand a reward from both teams if the deal is completed.

Player agents are people who specialize in legal matters and their complexities, and are skilled and patient negotiators who are able to complete deals at the highest price, and this is what some clubs resent.

Because this profession is not ordinary and requires special specifications, you can imagine, dear reader, that players’ agents’ fees amounted to 853 million US dollars throughout the year 2023, recording an increase of 36.9% over the total fees for the entire year of 2022, and more than any other previous year.

The most prominent of these agents, called the “super agent,” are the Portuguese Jorge Mendes and the late Italian Mino Raiola, and this description is given to them for their skills in negotiation and the number of stars they work with.

“Mercato” periods

There are two official periods for registering players – according to FIFA – and they are approved in the various European countries that include the five major leagues. The first is called the “Summer Mercato.” The market usually opens in June and closes at the beginning of September of each year, while the “Winter Mercato” begins in January and usually closes at the end of the same month.

There are local tournaments, such as the Turkish, Saudi, and American leagues, that do not adhere to these dates and have their own dates for registering players. This means that the team under the banner of these tournaments has the right to contract with any player outside the two official periods, even if the players are active in European tournaments.

Any player whose contract has expired and who does not find a team can join any club at any time he wants, but he will only register during the official registration periods. There are also exceptions granted to teams to include players in emergency situations, for example if the main goalkeeper and substitute are injured, so the club is allowed to include a substitute goalkeeper.

The story of free or free transfer

The player has the right to negotiate legally with any team he wants when his contract with his team enters the last 6 months. If an agreement is reached between the player and the new team, he will transfer to it for free without the purchasing team having to pay any amount, but he must agree with the player on the personal terms in the contract. .

This right has been seized by football players since 1995, and this transfer is known as the “Bosman Law”, which goes back to the Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman, whose contract with the Belgian team “RFC de Liège” expired at that time.

When Bosman wanted to move to the French team “Dunkirk”, the Belgian team asked for half a million pounds at the time, but the French team rejected the request, so Bosman found himself in a spiral and could not play for either team before he filed a case in court and the ruling was in his favor and he moved for free to the French team. Since then, this law has been established and adopted in the world of football.

He asked to leave

It is an official request submitted by the player to his club’s management, in which he expresses his desire to leave. It is a means of putting pressure on the club, making this desire public and usually considered a form of rebellion against the club’s repeated refusal to let go of the player.

The club may reject this request, but usually when matters reach this stage, the club prefers to sell the player to benefit from the money of the deal and not cause any rift between the players in the locker room.

Source : Al Jazeera + Websites + social media sites + agencies

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