Transfer window: The most exciting time for football fans or just another month if you’re an Arsenal fan. Just kidding!
Some turn out to be good, some turn out to be bad. It is an exciting period if your club is linked with world class players, depressing if the club’s best players are linked with a move away. The best players in the EPL always flirt with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Some turn out to be just paper-talk while some are rumors spread by the player’s agent to get a pay rise at the current club.
But, how does it all happen? We take a look at the transfer madness.
How does the process start?
The manager of any club informs the scouts that he needs a player for any given position with certain qualities. Sometimes the manager has already set his sights on a certain player. The scouting team makes a list of the best available players. So then, the manager decides to sign a certain player (depends on his budget).
The club then sends a written offer via fax (sometimes via telephone too). The selling club can reject the offer directly or inform the buying club that they are willing to listen to offers. Once the buying club gets a green signal, they submit an official bid. The bid depends on factors like the selling club’s valuation of the player, the release clause in the player’s contract or the number of years remaining on his contract. Selling clubs may also contact an agent to work on their behalf and ask them to find a buyer for a particular player. This situation can arise if a player is not playing games.
An agent might also speak to a club who decide that for whatever reason it is in the best interests of a player to leave. An agent would be given permission to speak to other clubs and given a specific fee the sellers have in mind for the player.
The bidding war is one of the most frustrating periods, especially for football fans. Only when the selling club feels that the player’s valuation is met, they agree to sell the player.
A fee can be agreed but it does not mean a move will go through. But, once it is, then the job of the agent is to agree personal terms on the player's behalf. The agent is there to secure the best possible deal for his client and this can take a little time. It also includes a certain amount of commission for the agent. Sometimes these agents get commission from both the selling and buying club. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The agent negotiates with the buying club to get a good salary, long term contract and a high signing on fee. Signing on fee is paid to almost every player depending on how good he is. If many clubs have agreed a fee with the selling club, the player can take his pick. These may include whether he is going to play more at one club than another, the package he is getting and how much he will have to uproot his family.
The player then undergoes a medical. His complete physical condition is checked thoroughly. There have been incidents where players have failed medicals and the transfer fails.
The dark side
The buying club has to first approach the selling club. However, they illegally approach the player’s agent directly. This is quite common these days. Also, ‘transfer request’ is the current trend. If the selling club refuses to sell, the player hands a written transfer request. If his wish isn’t granted, the player may refuse to play for the club. Seriously, something needs to be done about player power.
It isn’t over yet!!
Once everything is sorted certain documents need to be lodged with the relevant authorities for the transfer to be approved and registered.
Documents are lodged with:
- The Football Association and Premier League if the transfer involves a player moving to a Premiership club.
- The Football League and FA if the transfer involves a player moving to a Football League club.
The documents include the transfer documentation, the financial agreement between the two clubs, the player’s’ contract, the player’s registration, the players bonus schedule, and any forms relating to agents.
Though the above process sounds simple, it isn’t really that simple. Hence, the transfer windows last for such a long period. Once everything is sorted, you see a player holding the club’s scarf over his head.