This is Part 2 of my mini-series on the Wacky World of Transfers in which I cover Complications and Arsenal in the Transfer Window. Enjoy and catch Part 1 which covers Perspective and Basic Transfers here and watch for Part 3 which covers Sources and What to Watch Out For in the next day or so. Youknowit – OG
So we understand how a text book transfer works now (if not, link here)? Good – because they rarely ever go down like that. There is an endless list of things that can prevent the three parties to agree. Being a rival club could prevent the two clubs from agreeing a transfer; player swaps introduce another agreeing party which adds a layer of complexity; loan deals get crazy when it comes down to who is paying the wages, if there is a loan fee (payment to use the player for the term), if there is an option to buy at the end of the period (this one comes up regularly in our loan dealings – particularly outgoings). Two specific situations worth talking a bit more on are third party ownership and Bosmans.
Third Party Ownership (link to a more in depth description): Basically a third party – a company, individual, or investment group – own a portion or percentage of the economic rights on a player. This is viewed as an investment by the third party where their returns are gained via the transfer fee. This type of ownership is banned in England but is prevalent in places like Portugal where the money on offer, helps to keep teams financially viable. Obviously it can raise all sorts of issues but in terms of transfers, it can introduce another party to agree to the sale of a player. This is rumoured to be the case in the summer with William Carvalho and certainly influenced the sale of Marcos Rojo to Manchester United.
Bosmans: Bosmans occur when a player has reached the end of their contract term and are able to transfer on their own to another team. These transfers do not require a transfer fee or agreement with the selling club. Because of this, many players can negotiate quite lucrative signing on fees with their new club, just by waiting until their contract is up. Despite having to wait until the end of contract, the impact of a Bosman can be felt up to a year before that contract is up. This is because the selling club may sell at a reduced fee rather than losing the player for free a year down the road. Further, players can start negotiating with other clubs without the selling clubs permission with six months left on the contract (now if their contract is up in the summer of 2015).
Arsenal in the Transfer Window:
If you feel like transfers are the domain of the snake oil salesman, then you’re getting a feel for it. Personally I don’t think Arsenal, the Board, or the Manager particularly enjoy the comings and goings of players and the shady agents that represent them. I think this is part of the reason why we seem so aloof come the transfer window opening – and part of the reason there is a perception that we take a long time to do a deal.
That said, we are particularly adept at using things like Bosmans to our advantage (although the signing on fee and inflated wages needed to secure some Bosmans sometimes mean their effect is negligible – see Chamakh). Players currently in this situation include Sami Khedira and Winston Reid – both have been linked with us since the summer but remember that a Bosman alone does not mean they’ll sign for us.
We like a deal. I suspect that is as much about us not having unlimited funds as it is about a frugal attitude but of course, I don’t know that for sure. Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal were bought from a Málaga side facing an incredibly bad financial situation. Podolski’s FC Köln outfit was in the process of being relegated. Flamini just showed up one day in the parking lot of Colney.
January is not particularly a time where Arsène is likely to buy either. It’s not that he won’t buy at all, it’s just that, well, he rarely brings more than one player in. Last year was a bit slower than this January as it was a World Cup year – making it more difficult than normal to entice players to change teams for fear of losing their place in their World Cup squads.
The transfer market itself should also be viewed as a total eco-system. It is extremely rare for a deal to happen in isolation. We’ve heard Arsène talk before about waiting for the big clubs to do deals because of the “domino effect” they have on the market. We’ll look to get in on the action and benefit from teams moving existing players to make room for incomings. I’d list Özil in this category as Bale came in to Real Madrid from that lot up the road.
Arsenal tend to operate in total secrecy – and have been rumoured to put gag orders in place to prevent leaks. What that means is that if you’re hearing about a link in the press or on Twitter for months on end, it isn’t likely a deal we are pursuing. Our transfers have a way of blindsiding you a day or two before they actually happen. Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck were short notice deals and were not obvious choices in the positions they fill. The good news that can be deduced from our spy games approach, is that it is unlikely M’Vila and Kalou are heading to the Emirates this January.
I do suspect there is a go forward strategy for summer transfers which will see us try for one big name per window. This feeling is based on our last two summers along with a model we see at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich – the latter a club named as a model for our future direction. That’s neither here nor there for January but perhaps will add another nail in the coffin of the “big name in January” speculation.
So what’s the takeaway? If we sign anyone this window, it likely will be a last minute deal for a Bosman player from a cash strapped club. It isn’t always true but we have precedent.
Thanks for joining me for Part 2 of my mini-series on transfers. I hope you’ve enjoyed and be sure to tune in over the next few days for Part 3 which concludes the series and looks at Sources and What to Watch Out For.
You know it!
The Other Geoff
Other Geoff is the ‘#ABW Chief Blogger’ and can be found on Twitter here: @Hollefreund.