From investigation to contract: how does the transfer market work

Scouting: how does the transfer market work


of the football coach can depend on work of his scouts. And though
between request for a transfer of this or that football player and
signing of the contract there can pass only several days, preliminary
work can be performed for several months or even years.

work in all weather. These are those who are in the car at 1 o’clock
in the morning with a piece of meat pie in one hand and a wheel in
another. They get 40 pence for mile, that’s all”, – Michael
Calvin says. He is the author of the book The Nowhere Men in which he
has told about scouts of talented football players.

at The Footballers’ Football Show in 2013 Calvin told that David
Moyes at the time of cooperation with “Everton” wanted to
receive 50 long reports on the main transfer goals written by 10-12
scouts. “Moyes has what he calls the check list. It contains 12
criteria for each position in an optimum situation. David has about
5000 reports about 1000 football players”, – Calvin says.

is not a game in the football manager. Opportunities on the football
field, of course, dominate but sometimes it is only a half of the
reason why did the football player suit the team. Scouts, as we know,
sometimes write down in their notes information about “body
language” of the football player during warm-up period or goal

British coach Carl Robinson in an interview to Sky Sc’s Art of
Scouting has told: “There is no good scout who would watch only
10 games and knew about all abilities of the football player. I can
guarantee this. I trust scouts large amount of work and at the end I
only tick off”.

the club of the English Premier League there are 10-15 scouts but the
head of them has close connection with the head coach. They are
connected by accurate vision of common goals. Thousands of games,
thousands of kilometers … Is there a simpler way in scouts’ work?
Most clubs use statistical databases in parallel with scouts’ work.
Prozone, WyScout, Scout7, DataScout. All these programs are good,
but whether computers will be able to replace the pen, the paper and
the certificate of a scout?

have to visit stadium and you need intuition. It is impossible to
watch a match on a laptop”, – Mel Johnson , the scout of West
Bromwich, is speaking. Gary Neville has the similar opinion. “Many
people watch a game, but don’t see it. When we are preparing the
broadcast at Sky Sports, we use cameras from a birds eye view. The
coach watch a game this way”, – the ex-player of Manchester
United has told.



have pointed out the target football players. What’s next? It is
necessary to continue to obtain information. “We call the coach
and we learn reference data about the player, we contact the agent
and we find out what is the personality of the football player”,
– tells the coach Carl Robinson. The agent and the football player
will learn about club’s interest long before the proposal will
come. The transfer request seldom becomes a real surprise for the
player and the public nowadays.

agent of World in Motion James Lippett is speaking: “The club
that wants to buy a football player always wants to know whether they
have a chance to finish the transaction, otherwise they will look
silly. The conversation with the agent often has these questions: 1)
How much will the player cost? 2) How long will the player stay under
the previous contract? 3) How much does the player want to earn? 4)
How much is the player earning now? 5) What are the family and
personal affairs of the player?”

Lippett says, the scheme at which the club receives the fax with the
money proposal is outdated. “3-4 proposals usually come by
e-mail. The first proposal is rejected in 99.9% of cases. The second
will be closer to the aim and it will be followed by several final
proposals. It is like poker”, – the agent has told.

with the football player

club accepts the transfer proposal: the football player of Y
approaches club X. But to tell the truth, he isn’t so close. The
present “personal terms of the contract” are much wider
than the salary. The slightest disagreement can lead to a failure of
transfer. While coaches speak about football the bosses of the
football club negotiate with the football player about money. This
includes the salary, payment for signing, bonuses for victories,
goals or “dry” matches. In addition, the player and his
agent can demand anything they want.

can become an agent. All you need is to pay £500, to undergo
security check in Football association, and you are registered. In
Great Britain there are about 1300 agents for 4000 professional
football players. But many new agents simply don’t have any
clients. Freshers hope to snatch the piece. Nevertheless, only 10% of
the best agents get big money, and others only fight for what has

car will the football player get? If he moves from abroad, perhaps,
he needs some money for moving to another city. Sometimes players ask
to help in choosing school or any other help”, – Lippett told.
The career of the football player is short therefore he and his agent
are trying to get from clubs as much as possible.

sport director of Peterborough United Barry Fry

sport director of Peterborough United Barry Fry has another point of
view. “Initial requirements of agents are simply shocking. Some
of the agents haven’t even seen how their client is playing and
this is terrible. They aren’t interested in development of football
players and only in what they will be able to earn (usually agents
receive 5% of the transaction though FIFA recommends 3%). We tell
players: “You won’t become a millionaire in Peterborough but you
will become the millionaire when you leave us”. I think many
coaches of the Premier League have told these words to the football
players they are interested in”, – Fry told.

reality football players, as a rule, are trying to get to top club as
soon as possible. As Lippett tells, requirements and the player’s
ambitions strongly depend on what they have achieved at the moment,
and it is quite logical. “If the player is successful and very
rich, personal conditions take the most important place. If the
player hasn’t achieved any great success then money will be on the
first place. Ambitions can take the backseat. Many football players
live in one city and go for training to another. Many football
players live in isolation. Only few of them think about this fact”,
– Lippett has told.

details and confirmation

when all personal conditions are coordinated with the football player
there are still some deal breakers. Clausule is mentioned in football
circles now more often than earlier. Its purpose is protection of the
football player and club.

there are very strange details of contracts. So, after signing of the
contract with Sunderland the Swedish midfielder Stefan Schwarz is
forbidden to fly into outer space after his agent has bought a place
for the space flight in 1999. Or Harry Redknapp insisted to include
the point of weight control when Crystal Palace signed Neil Raddock.

Dominic Matteo in 2000 had moved from Leeds to Liverpool

the process of medical examination is difficult. The more the
football player costs the more careful are these examinations. Clubs
are trying to find the latent trauma or a problem in order to justify
the spent money. But some football players had failed medical
investigation and, nevertheless, completed transfer. Dominic Matteo
in 2000 had moved from Leeds to Liverpool for £5 million.

Pearce has told about one interesting case: “We appointed
medical examination to the football player. The doctor told that his
anklebones and knees are under suspicion there are some problems with
pelvic area, bad blood analysis and heart murmurs. I asked whether
there is something good. The doctor answered: “The football
player has fine teeth”. The football player nevertheless came to
us and promised that if he is difficult to reach during any period
then he won’t receive money for this period. He was not able to play.
If all players do like this they would be in much better physical

medical examination it is necessary only to send to Football
association necessary documents till a deadline, to prepare the press
release, social networks and a club shirt. That is all – after
laborious work the football player is signed.

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