How does football transfer window work?

Football is a global marketplace where top players incessantly relocate from club to club, and even to other countries as demands occur. A transfer in football is a business transaction between two clubs that sees a player move from one club to the other

Footballers are traded in the football ecosystem as commodities on values and demands. Hence, a player’s skills and talents coupled with the teams that have a need for such a player forms his or her market values.

It is a period where enormous amounts of money change hands as top football clubs vie for the best players for the coming seasons.

FIFA regulations set out two annual periods during which clubs can buy in foreign players, known as transfer windows. The longer transfer window falls between seasons and the shorter one falls mid-season, but the exact timing is set by individual countries’ football associations.

In many European countries, the summer transfer window opens in June and closes on August 31. While in the United States of America (USA) it closed on August 9.

How it all works

If a player is under contract, the club wishing to secure his or her services are usually expected to pay compensation known as a transfer fee.

The transfer fee is determined by many factors, such as the perceived quality of a player, current contract length, commercial value, and potential worth, among others.

Sometimes, football players can move on a loan agreement. This is usually dependent on the agreement between the clubs concerned. In the case of talented young footballers mostly the parent club loans them out to other clubs for valuable first-team experience with their wages entirely paid by the parent club.

In some other cases, it does not necessarily have to be the parent club that will pay the wages. In some arrangements, the agreement will require the club where the player is to be loaned out to pay 100 percent of his total wages.

It can also be a dual responsibility between the two clubs involved in the loan deal whereby a party may be required to pay 20 percent, 30 percent, 40percent, 50 percent, and so on out of the total wage he or she earns at the parent club. It depends on the demands of the parent club.

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A transfer happens in football when two clubs agree on terms of sale and the buying club agree on a contract with the player.

Like any business transaction, a transfer can occur in a variety of ways.

When a club is interested in signing a player, a representative from that club will usually make an official inquiry to the club which has their target under contract.

If a club is open to selling a player, the prospect of joining a new club is naturally put to the player in question, who then considers it with their agent and advisors.

There are a number of moving parts involved in order to complete the transfer. First of all, the two clubs must negotiate transfer fees along with any clauses, such as sell-on percentages and other financial inducements.

Then the buying club must negotiate a fresh contract with the player they wish to recruit, trying to meet the terms requested in respect of salary, bonuses, contract length, and so on.

Who is an agent

A football agent is an individual who represents a player’s general interests, specifically when it comes to issues such as contract negotiations.

In the situation of contract negotiations, the agent is fundamentally a player’s legal representative, tasked with securing the best possible deal for their client.

A good agent will possess expert knowledge of the legal intricacies involved, as well as being a capable negotiator – something that can sometimes be to the irritation of some clubs.

Agents charge fees for their services – often a percentage of their clients’ wages – and in some cases, they demand bonuses for their part in transfers.

However, there are some business models in football club management that most time determines how and where the pendulum of transfer goes per time.

Some clubs are rooted in the philosophy of buying and nurturing young talents and then selling them later at a high price. Clubs in such a category are Arsenal of England, Borussia Dortmund of Germany, Benfica of Portugal, and Ajax of the Netherland among others.

While on other hand, there are clubs who believe in buying well-established players to help them within trophies in the shortest time frame. In this class are Chelsea, Manchester City of England, and PSG in France, among others.

There are also clubs cut in between these two management philosophies that are those who believe in grooming from the feeder team and complimenting some established players. Real Madrid of Spain, Manchester United of England, Bayern Munich of Germany, and Porto of Portugal to mention but a few.

Most times these teams are in the transfer market just to fill in positions they feel need reinforcement or when they have players to off-load. The exigencies of the need in most cases affect the transfer market values and amount paid per player.

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