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How Transfer Deals Get Done

  • BBC Sport, Wednesday, January 31, 2007 3:03 PM
There will be plenty last-minute moves to report tomorrow, as the European transfer window closes Wednesday night at 7 PM ET. BBC Sport has agent Alex Cowdy of Touchline Ltd. take us on a step-by-step walk through the rigorous negotiation process.

Like buying a house, clubs initially go back and forth with bid and offer prices. Once a price is agreed, an agent steps in to negotiate the player's personal terms. When a player is no longer wanted, as in the case of say, Ronaldo, clubs hire agents to go out and find a buyer. In some cases, the agents inform the player of a club's decision to sell him. The agent is then given the dispensation to find another club, often with a specific fee in mind. The agent then goes through his list of contacts asking managers and chief scouts about the positions they need to fill and the kind of budget they have. The next step is trying to convince them that their man is right for the job.

Contracts can be complicated, Cowdy says, often containing performance incentives, in the case of players who are no longer wanted by their clubs, or signing bonuses, in the case of players who have been pursued. Bonuses are usually awarded for loyalty, attaining a certain number of appearances, etc. In the case of young players, they usually receive a bonus on their first-team debut; their salaries are usually renegotiated after five first-team starts. Image rights are also part of personal terms, but these vary on a case-by-case basis.

Read the whole story at BBC Sport »

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