Why You should Not Blame Footballers For Huge Price Tags

german-female-teamThe English Premier League broke all transfer records as Premier League clubs managed to shatter the £1 billion mark in terms of transfer expenditure, on players, during the just-closed transfer window.

In Italy Juventus splashed a whopping £90 Million on Gonzalo Higuaín from Napoli and this is still sending tongues wagging due to the purchase price and the player’s role in this etc.

Every transfer period, we relive the same scenario. Attractive target players being criticised or at times castigated. Footballers are discussed and sometimes fingers are pointed by some fans and sometimes, the general public with regards to their choice, betrayal to some, and most unfortunately faulted due to the transfer price.

Paul Pogba’s transfer to Manchester United is still a talking point in many circles and many are curious to see what kind of fire will be rained on Manchester United should their objectives not be attained this season come May 2017.

Unlike what many believe, the players are not entirely responsible for the price tag they command. Here are some of the deciding factors that dictate the price of the services of a footballer.


The Age and Role Of The Player

A player in his early 20s, offensive or better still a dangerous striker, in most cases will command a higher price tag than a 35-year-old defender or goalkeeper near retirement, for obvious reasons.


Original Purchase Price And ‘Costs’ Of The Player

A player that is bought, for example, for an original five-year contract for a high price, who just midway into his contract duration attracts offers from other clubs is naturally not to be sold for a lesser price than the price of acquisition and sometimes including costs (salaries, bonuses etc) that the ceding club has spent on the player. In other words, a player bought for a price tag of $10 million who is on an annual wage bracket of a $1 million could be sold for over 13 million dollars midway into his contract.

Add to this the percentage that the player’s agent was paid by the club when they acquired his services.


New Status And Possibility Of Progression

Moussa Sissoko, last season, was a player of relegated Newcastle United and few saw him attracting credible suitors for this new season. Not because he is not good enough, but rather due to the fact that he had a status of a player from a relegated team.

That was before this summer European Championship where the player impressed with the French national team, losing on penalties to Portugal in the final after some spirited performances.

Today he is a Tottenham Hotspur player, having been wrestled out of the grips of other suitors especially Everton. That’s all thanks to his new status as European Championship runner up.

N’Golo Kanté, one year ago was relatively unknown prior to playing for Leicester who bought him for a relatively cheap sum but now has a status of an English Premier League champion and one of the three best players of the league by popular vote.

Chelsea had to wrestle him out of the claws of Manchester United for a much higher price than just 12 months ago: 30 million Euros.


Cost Of Replacement

The ceding club has to replace the departing player and the possible cost of acquiring a viable replacement could prove decisive in the selling price of that player. Imagine the cost of a potential replacement of high work rate Kanté for Leicester?


Player Marketability and Image Value

Football is big business, where not only the players’ services on the field are sources of revenue to their club sides but also the players’ marketability as regards jersey sales, image – in short, the players marketability.

Cristiano Ronaldo is not just useful to Madrid for winning football matches and titles, but the club earns tens of millions on his jersey sales and should any club want to price him away, Madrid will sell at a price that compensates the loss in commerce and this will influence the selling price enormously.


Contractual Clauses and Destination

It is no secret that the most lucrative league in the world is the Premier League. Here co-exist the richest clubs in the world. Hence any player outside this league that is courted is definitely going to be sold for a much higher price than if the interest was coming off a Champions League aspirant from the French league (outside Paris Saint Germain) with all due respect.

Furthermore, it is possible that there are pre-agreed clauses and purchasing prices that exist in the about-to-be-sold player’s contract and this will play a major role in the asking price. Note must be taking that this works in both ways on the price tag ladder.

The destination, with regards to the club, plays a role too. A player that attracts interest from “rich clubs” like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United or Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain etc. is almost assured to attract a higher fee from the seller as against another relatively modest prospective acquiring team.

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Another erroneous assumption many make is that the player’s cut of the transfer price plays a role. This is not necessarily the case as a player might end up getting as low as nothing from a $50 million transfer if there are no specifications in his contract that guarantee him a share of the transfer.

So next time you read of a high transfer price tag, don’t blame the player. There are other factors that influence this other than his services etc.


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September 3, 2016 1:49 pm Published by

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