From Agents to Zurich, the A to Z of transfers

From Agents to Zurich, the A to Z of transfers
December 28 16:25 2016

By Mark Ogden

The transfer window opens on Jan. 1, kicking off a month of gossip and speculation. Ahead of that, Mark Ogden presents his A to Z of all things transfer-related.

A = Agent: No transfer gets done nowadays without an agent to grease the wheels for the player, buying club or selling club.

B = Bosman: It is now 21 years since Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman won the right for footballers to move as free agents at the end of their contracts. Whether it was a blessing or a curse continues to be debated, but almost every transfer window features “Bosman” deals.

C = Collapse: The transfer window is littered with deals collapsing at the last minute, with David De Gea’s proposed move from Manchester United to Real Madrid falling down in the final seconds of the summer 2015 window.

D = Deadline: After a month of transfer madness, it all has to end and the deadline for the winter transfer window will fall on Jan. 31, which just happens to be the same night as a full Premier League fixture programme.

E = Extension: Just when you thought that the transfer window was closed, all last-minute deals get an extra two hours to be completed, with “deal sheets” provided to ensure paperwork gets rushed through.

F = Fax machine: Despite the oft-repeated claims that “paperwork is being faxed through,” all deals are now completed with scanned paperwork being emailed to the league, in which the player has been signed.

G = Gazump: The practice of outbidding a rival club for a player, despite a deal already having been struck. Chelsea snatched Willian from Tottenham’s grasp in August 2013 with a £32 million bid, despite Anzhi Makhachkala already having accepted a £30m offer from Spurs for the Brazilian.

H = Hitch: A particular problem on deadline day, when delayed flights, failed medicals or problematic paperwork can force a deal to fall through.

I = International Transfer Certificate: Another hurdle for any club to clear when signing a player from another country is securing clearance, which comes in the form of an International Transfer Certificate that is issued by the league he is leaving.

J = Juventus: The Italian champions hold the record for banking the world’s biggest transfer fee after selling Paul Pogba to Manchester United last August for an initial £89m that, potentially, could rise to £93m.

K = Kickback: The banned practice of offering and / or receiving illegal payments to push through a transfer. These are also known as “bungs.”

L = Loan: Need a player but don’t want him, or can’t afford him, on a permanent basis? Then sign him on loan, but remember that he cannot play against his parent club while temporarily employed elsewhere.

M = Medical: The paperwork might be done and the player may have agreed terms, but will his dodgy knee or back injury enable the deal to get over the line? The medical is the final checkpoint to a deal getting the green light.

N = Negotiations: Deals are done by agents and chief executives / directors of football, who thrash out the fine details of contracts; managers and players are rarely involved in these negotiations.

O = Out of Contract: Clubs can still add to their squad outside the transfer window, but players must be free agents. One recent example was Victor Anichebe, who signed for Sunderland in September.

P = Panic Buy: Every transfer window has one and it is usually an eleventh hour gamble by an under-pressure manager or club, desperate to find the missing piece of the jigsaw. Some work, most fail.

Q = Quota: Premier League clubs must have at least eight home-grown players — players produced by an English or Welsh club academy — in their 25-man squad, so there is a limit on how many overseas players can be signed.

R = Robinho: No deal sums up the madness of transfer deadline day quite like Robinho’s £32.5m arrival at Manchester City in September 2008. Earlier in the day the Brazilian forward was destined for Chelsea but, by 11 p.m., he became the embodiment of new owner Sheikh Mansour’s ambitions for City.

S = Scouting Report: Ideally, a club will sign a player after a series of scouting reports have been filed, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. But when the heat is on and the clock is ticking, sometimes best practices are overlooked.

T = Torres: At £50m, Fernando Torres remains the most-expensive January deal of all-time in the Premier League. The Spanish striker moved from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011.

U = Under-24: Compensation fees must be paid to clubs that lose players under the age of 24 as free agents at the end of their contracts. This provides recompense for the cost of the player’s development.

V = Veto: Some clubs simply do not do business with each other. Famously, Sir Alex Ferguson vetoed Gabriel Heinze’s request to leave Manchester United for Liverpool in August 2007. No player has moved directly between the two clubs since Phil Chisnall left United for Liverpool in 1964.

W = Work Permit: Players moving to the Premier League, who do not have a European Union passport, must acquire a work permit to play in England. The UK Home Office operates a points-based system to ensure only those of a sufficiently high quality standard are allowed to sign for clubs. Many poor players slip through the net, however.

X = Xisco: The Spanish striker is still regarded as one of the worst transfer window signings, with Newcastle being blocked by FIFA from selling the player on just four months after his £5.7m arrival from Deportivo La Coruna in September 2008. His contract terminated in January 2013 after he scored one goal in nine appearances for the club.

Y = Youth system: Prioritised by forward-thinking clubs. They develop home-grown players to either save money on transfer fees or generate income from sales of players such as, in the case of Southampton, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale.

Z = Zurich: The city where all deals are processed via FIFA’s Transfer Matching System.

Culled from ESPN