In England, the football transfer window is closing. This usually means a traditional mad scramble on the last day of the season by clubs wishing to bolster their squad for the final half of the season. Often it is clubs struggling at the wrong end of the table that desperately want to sign quality players in order to avoid the dreaded relegation which can cost a club up to 20 million pounds in lost revenue.
So how does a football transfer work? And what is the actual process of a football transfer?
Firstly, a written offer must be made by any club wishing to buy a player that is in contract. What then follows is a cat and mouse turn of events where the two clubs involved haggle over a fee and this can last for a few days, weeks or even months. If a club is also desperate to offload some players then an agent might be brought in to work on their behalf by sounding out clubs who might be interested in the player they want to sell. Often this happens if a player is unhappy or has fallen out with the management of the club.
If a fee is agreed between the two clubs then it is down to the players agent to negotiate personal and financial terms for the player he is representing. The main role of a football agent is to secure the best deal he can for his client so again, this could take hours, days or weeks. Many considerations have to be thought through properly such as whether the player is guaranteed a starting place in the team, the weekly wage and the length of the contract that is on offer.
After the basic contract is agreed upon then the finer details have to be ironed out like players bonuses for appearances, loyalty, signing on fee, image rights, goal scoring or clean sheet bonus. It is only then that the contract is finally agreed upon and the player then decides if he wishes to move. The main criteria for a football player is how many minutes he going to see on the pitch and contrary to popular belief it is not financial.
Young players have a slightly different way of renewing their contract. Most players graduate to first team status by playing through the academy ranks. If a youth player makes more than five first team appearances then his contract is often re negotiated.
Clauses are also an important feature of a football contract. Players these days often insist on having a relegation clause in their contract to secure them playing at the highest level.
Of course the agent does not work for free. He can only be renumerated by one party. And the buying club is usually the fee payer to the agent and this paid by either a lump sum or by annual installments.
Finally, when a football transfer is concluded then documents must be sent to the relevant authorities who include the football association, premier league and if a transfer is concluded outside the premier league then the football league must also be notified. These documents are the players registration, finance agreement between the two clubs and any forms regarding the agent must be submitted.