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Neymar transfer exposes football’s modern-day trafficking scheme
  • 0
[Chelsea FC, England]
Posts: 242 | Comments: 4749
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https://www.ft.com/content/86257e1a-7c4c-11e7-ab01-a13271d1ee9c

The agreement by Barcelona to transfer the football player Neymar to Paris St Germain for €222m has provoked media outrage — but of the wrong kind. We should not be incensed by the pricetag, but by the fact that it remains legal for a business to sell an employee to another business.

Barcelona sold Neymar to PSG. That is the only reason he is allowed to move. He could not have sold himself, and had he sought to transfer to another club of his own volition, and without Barcelona’s agreement, he could have been banished from professional football.

Most readers of this column will have a job — how would you feel if your current employer said you could not take up an opportunity at another company unless they received compensation equal to four or five times your annual salary? How would you feel if your employer said you could not even talk to another company interested in hiring you without their prior consent? You would almost certainly go to court to defend your rights — in the EU, you would almost certainly win. The free movement of labour clauses of EU law protect your autonomy in this regard. We accept this as right and good. Why, then, are we comfortable with the bartering of professional football players?

Consider further that this business transaction actually hurts Neymar financially — the money PSG pays to Barcelona could have been part of his individual compensation had he been allowed to bargain on his own behalf. Of course, he is already a multi-millionaire; few will have sympathy for his financial plight here. But FIFPro, the player’s union which by its own account represents more than 60,000 professional players, does not speak just for the superstars and the mega-rich. I estimate, in fact, that the median salary of its members is less than $50,000.

For the vast majority of players, the restrictions imposed by the transfer system can create genuine hardship. For example, in many countries, players in the lesser leagues routinely do not get paid their wages. Yet the transfer regulations stipulate that they cannot even begin the process of finding another employer until they have gone without pay for a full six months. Imagine you are a middle-class employee, perhaps with a family. You have not seen a paycheck in four months, but you cannot leave or even try to find another job.

The transfer system as it currently stands was created in 2001, following the 1995 Bosman judgment of the European Court of Justice, which declared the old transfer system illegal — precisely because it did not respect the right of free movement. Astonishing as it may sound, the new system was agreed between Fifa (then headed by Sepp Blatter) and the European Commission, without the consent of the players’ representatives. Unsurprisingly, it favours the employers.

Research by FIFPro has identified other forms of abuse in the transfer system. Players who ask to leave their club against owners’ wishes are bullied, harassed, and at times even physically abused. No one would tolerate this state of affairs in any other business (with the possible exception of organised prostitution), but naive young professional players can be easily exploited.

To be sure, many clubs are exemplary employers and treat players well — but basic rights should not be a matter of your employer’s goodwill. Consequently, FIFPro has now brought a complaint to the commission seeking to have the current system ruled illegal. In an economic analysis for the union, I found that the transfer system helps cement the dominance of the largest clubs: exorbitant transfer fees act as a barrier to smaller clubs. As a result, a large fraction of transfer fee revenue just circulates among the dominant clubs in Europe.

The idea of abolishing the transfer system makes many football fans weak at the knees; they fear that small clubs that rely on transfer fee income would collapse. There are two responses: first, small clubs depend on transfer revenue far less than fans believe, and the transfer market is of little help when it comes to financial crises because prices fall in a fire sale. Even if a small club occasionally does well out of the system, the second point is far more important: equality before the law is a bedrock principle of liberal democracies. We simply must not deprive one class of people of the rights that the rest of us enjoy just because the victims supply us with entertainment.

The transfer system is nothing less than a global trafficking scheme in human labour — shockingly, it represents an agreement between the representatives of national governments and employers to erase employees’ rights

Comments
  • +2
[Manchester United, Netherlands]
Posts: 146 | Comments: 5058

As much as I agree with the article in general. The example it gives at first is very inaccurate IMO.

Most readers of this column will have a job — how would you feel if your current employer said you could not take up an opportunity at another company unless they received compensation equal to four or five times your annual salary? How would you feel if your employer said you could not even talk to another company interested in hiring you without their prior consent?

This is like compare apple and popcorn, except you can eat them both... The major thing that they share is: contract and employment. Other than that, the nature of the business is ENTIRELY different.

The protection of transfer in football and entertainment world are in vastly different scale compare to the regular 9-5 job.

Simply put, you can NOT ask that kind of question and think they are the same, because I would ask:

how would you feel if you earn 100k a year, and I earn 100k a week?

Entirely different!

Showing previous versions of this text.
  • +3
[Manchester United, USA]
Posts: 15 | Comments: 2591

Contract law is the problem here. If Neymar signs a contract with Barcelona, his rights AS A PLAYER belong to Barcelona. They cannot force him to play. He just can't play anywhere else. He was the one that signed that contract. If he wanted an opt-out, which some players do, he could've put one in. He'd have made less money as a result, but that would've been his choice.

  • 0
[Barcelona, France]
Posts: 325 | Comments: 8330

I would agree if the players sign in clubs for free like any normal employee, players are bought and are obliged to fullfill their contracts and any single clause there.
if Neymar was signed at 0 euros then this article would make sense...

And there is much more scandalous, contract without buyout clauses, Barça was willing to pay any price to buy Verratti, player, family and agent all wanted to leave but PSG had the last say. for me its more than normal.

Showing previous versions of this text.

I would agree if the players sign in clubs for free like any normal employee, players are bought and are obliged to fullfill their contracts and any single clause there.
if Neymar was signed at 0 euros then this article would make sense...

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

This is exactly why I like the fact that PSG got their player.

He wanted to join and they made it happen, otherwise Neymar would be forced to stay against his will...

When Barcelona wanted Fabregas they were putting the Barcelona shirt on him during the time Barcelona players were together with Fabregas in the national team, even though he was still an Arsenal player, they don't care to use unethical messures when they want a player, they use their own players and contact players for talks outside of legal boundaries but when Neymar wanted to leave they tried to bribe him and they launch a campaign where once again their own players would approach the target and try to convince him to stay.

Another ironic thing is that Barcelona is once again accused of illigally approaching another Santos player this year, funny right? But also before Neymar joined Barcelona they also illigally gave him money in advance, 2 years before he actually signed for the club so they needed to pay in court additional taxes which was around 5 mil pounds...Overall Barcelona doesn't care much about rules themselves.

  • 0
[Arsenal]
Posts: 380 | Comments: 6571

otherwise Neymar would be forced to stay against his will...

Poor Ney, must have been really hard life playin' with Messi & co. for few euros a month.


I mean, you sign a contract for certain number of years, you know what are you signing. Suddenly out of nothing you say: I don't want to play in this club anymore? The clubs will surely needs to add something to contracts to stop this crap happening. I don't have that hard feelings for any of them but it's still very shady transfer. Once they exploited this you can just prepare yourself for more. Rich owner will just send money towards player to buy himself out of his release clause and sign for other club to avoid FFP and other rules which are simply not the same for the richest.

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

Rich owner will just send money towards player to buy himself out of his release clause and sign for other club to avoid FFP and other rules which are simply not the same for the richest.

And how is that differnet from what the rich clubs are doing anyway?

This is just a rich club to another rich club but towards poor clubs all rich clubs can do whatever they want.

If the player wants to leave he should be able to leave, otherwise the team can bench him and ruin his career just because "he's not loyal".

Both Neymar's transfers to Barcelona and to PSG as well are "shady".

The diffence is that PSG is not as that of a big club so people are angry that they are able to buy such a big player but that's exactly what the FFP rule is about, it protects the current teams that have the biggest revenue which would forever make them being able to do whatever they want regardless of their debts because of the big revenue each year...

But what is the revenue of PSG ?

enter image description here

With all their connections, PSG will not break the FFP rule, because they can.
That's exactly what all other big clubs are doing, they don't break the rules because they can get away with it, in one way or another.

Showing previous versions of this text.
  • 0
[Arsenal]
Posts: 380 | Comments: 6571

If the player wants to leave he should be able to leave, otherwise the team can bench him and ruin his career just because "he's not loyal".

Then why sign contract extension? You're signing that you will play for this club for xyz years, it's not like Barcelona had a gun at his head threatening his life. It's not about loyalty, if you don't want to play for the club, fine, go, pay your release clause and get out of the club.


You know what is the majority of PSG's incomes? Deals from Qatar. For example 175 million/year from Qatar Tourism Authority (Around 3 John Stones). PSG would never be able to have such big revenue as likes of Real Madrid/Barcelona/Man. United. Same can be applied to Manchester City Etihad deal.

  • 0
[Manchester United, Netherlands]
Posts: 146 | Comments: 5058

Jesus discussing here seem to be headless.... Everyone in the world voices their concern when big clubs abuse their financial advantages and ruin the market, ruin football as a sport.

Lyon's president is not against the move but clearly stated that competing with oil-income country is simply impossible, its bad for football, and that is basically every fan opinion.

There are always boundary for this kind of investment, but let 1 single player walks in and pay 222 mil buy out clause using out of no where money is simply ridiculous

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

Then why sign contract extension? You're signing that you will play for this club for xyz years, it's not like Barcelona had a gun at his head threatening his life. It's not about loyalty, if you don't want to play for the club, fine, go, pay your release clause and get out of the club.

That's what happened.

  • 0
[Manchester United, Netherlands]
Posts: 146 | Comments: 5058

The article of THIS thread says this buy out forcing player to stay blah blah....

Sigh

Showing previous versions of this text.

The article of THIS thread says this buy out forcing player to stay is unfair blah blah....

Sigh

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

Everyone in the world voices their concern when big clubs abuse their financial advantages and ruin the market, ruin football as a sport.

That sounds very overdramatic, how is football now ruined?

There are always boundary for this kind of investment, but let 1 single player walks in and pay 222 mil buy out clause using out of no where money is simply ridiculous

He wants to leave the club and that's his buyout price and he pays it, simple as that...Nobody should be bound to play for a team if he wants to leave, it just happens that Neymars buyout clause was very high, big teams have advantages over small teams this was just a case of 2 rich teams trying to get/keep a player.

If lets say Real Madrid can buy Mbappe one day and Monaco can't do anything about it that's life, Real has advantages and they don't care...same with PSG...

  • 0
[Barcelona, France]
Posts: 325 | Comments: 8330

You need to be a hard Barca hater to defend Qatar fundation borderline tricks...

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

As I said, Neymar's deal are shady both with Barcelona and PSG.
Barcelona went to court and lost as it was admitted that they paid Neymar 2 years before he actually joined Barcelona.
One day when you grow older you will understand how it is to be less blind and more realistic, no team is holy and alot of teams have done shady things.

  • 0
[Manchester United]
Posts: 29 | Comments: 321

Modern football is a business and money talks. If you're a moral person, you would know that a contract exist to be obliged, but then again, the meaning of a contract is just something that was agreed by the majority of mankind because we're not all Neymars and the club we represent isn't backed by an entire country like Qatar.

People have to remember that the FFP is not a law; it was some sort of thought that was simply agreed upon by, once again, the majority of participants. No one never would have imagined that a player would be signed for over 200~m (or whatever the amount Neymar was signed for).

People will bend around corners in order to obtain the end product, and there won't be any guilt afterwards because you're already making so much money to worry about it.

Showing previous versions of this text.

Modern football is a business and money talks. If you're a moral person, you would know that a contract exist to be obliged, but then again, the meaning of a contract is just something that was agreed by the majority of mankind because we're not all Neymars and the club we represent isn't backed by an entire country like Qatar.

People have to remember that the FFP is not a law; it was something that was simply agreed upon by, once again, the majority of participants. No one never would have imagined that a player would be signed for over 200~m (or whatever the amount Neymar was signed for).

People will bend around corners in order to obtain the end product, and there won't be any guilt afterwards because you're already making so much money to worry about it.

  • 0
[Manchester United, USA]
Posts: 15 | Comments: 2591

If you're a moral person, you would know that a contract exist to be obliged, but then again, the meaning of a contract is just something that was agreed by the majority of mankind because we're not all Neymars and the club we represent isn't backed by an entire country like Qatar.

Try telling a lawyer that, you'd get rekt.

A contract is a promise that you put not just your word on, but apply legal binding to. By every measure possible in our society, it's the toughest legal document there is, above constitutions and charters.

To sign a contract you need witnesses, and most importantly, the equally valid signature of the person who you're signing the contract with or for. A soccer contract for example, will have the promise that the player will feature for X team. But many will also have guarantees from the club, such as wage, game time, etc. The club has the same responsibility as the player, and if either party does not fulfill their promise, a judge will find the contract void, and fine the offending party for the offense - which in the case of a soccer contract could be an absolutely stupid amount.

Why am I not in law school

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

But the point is nobody violated any contract, Neymar had a buyour clause and it was paid, plain and simple.

  • +5
[Manchester United, Netherlands]
Posts: 146 | Comments: 5058

Do you have problem understanding the context of the thread Gozalo??? Like... logical thinking and get to the main point?

What is this thread about and the article about?

Have you ever had once a high responsibility contract in real life where both party has a serious obligation? And then the article's example is simply the opposite of that.

Showing previous versions of this text.

Do you have problem understanding the context of the thread Gozalo??? Like... logical thinking and get to critical point?

  • +1
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

Have you ever had once a high responsibility contract in real life where both party has a serious obligation? And then the article's example is simply the opposite of that.

What obligation does Barcelona have towards Neymar when he buys himself out of his buyout clause? None. And yet everyone somehow think that PSG did something wrong.

"In an economic analysis for the union, I found that the transfer system helps cement the dominance of the largest clubs:
exorbitant ransfer fees act as a barrier to smaller clubs. As a result, a large fraction of transfer fee revenue just circulates among the dominant clubs in Europe."

This is exactly what I talked about, meaning I responded to the article, you didn't.
To quote myself:

The diffence is that PSG is not as that of a big club so people are angry that they are able to buy such a big player but that's exactly what the FFP rule is about, it protects the current teams that have the biggest revenue which would forever make them being able to do whatever they want regardless of their debts because of the big revenue each year...

So you see when the transfer system helps cement the dominance of the largest clubs, as the article states, is combined with the FFP rule, which I talked about, me and the article come to the same conclusion;

Many don't like the fact that PSG is being capable of buying a high profile player because it destroys the current big clubs powers that want to stay in control.

If the situation was the opposite - Neymar going to Barcelona from PSG - nobody would complain, because to most people it's ok for a big club to simply get what they want, just like Barcelona got Neymar from Santos in the first place by illigally giving him money 2 years prior to his transfer just to secure that he will leave for Barcelona, and Santos as a smaller club can't do anything about it, even when it was discovered Barcelona needed to pay extra fees in court but what is 5 mil pounds for a big club, nothing compared to the fact that they gained a player they wanted.

Big clubs abuse their power, and PSG is no different from any other big club, and yet you try to make it sounds so tragical like football is ruined now after 1 player changed a club for a record fee...it's not the first time nor last that this will happen so less drama please.

  • 0
[Valencia, Argentina]
Posts: 85 | Comments: 2061

@Golazo, so you don't see a problem in how this transfer happen? It is fine that Neymar went to PSG but the circumstances on which it happened are not fine. He paid his own buyout and you say it like this is something normal. How many examples can you come up with were a player had the spare cash to pay their own buyout? Let alone 222mil. Had PSG themselves bought Neymar through the normal legal ways this transfer wouldn't have been an issue.

And don't even attempt to say PSG isn't a big team. Constant Ligue 1 champs and consistent CL participants with the wealth to spend about 200 mil per transfer window and not 200 mil on a single player. I don't even think Barca has that financial capability.

  • 0
[Chelsea, Mexico]
Posts: 43 | Comments: 1506

Had PSG themselves bought Neymar through the normal legal ways this transfer wouldn't have been an issue.

Did Barcelona bought Neymar in a legal way? Bribing him 2 years before it is legal to hold talks with a player? You seem to not care about that part of Neymar's career because it's your own team, God forbid another team doing something outside of borders of legal action...

This is the problem, you think that PSG broke the law, but from my point of view they went around the law and are most likely not going to break the FFP rule. And make no mistake, PSG is saying to everyone that they are a big club, it's other people that don't want to accept it and are saying that they are "ruining football" but how about the teams that did crazy stuff before that new FFP rule?
Rich teams could do whatever they wanted but now that same rule protects the richest clubs and is making them keep control over whos the boss in world football, there is a fine line of a double standard, it's ok that I did what I did but how dare you do now something so drastic?!?

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