Although the crazy world of the footballing transfer market may have ceased trading for now, in unprecedented times, have the days of last ditch multi-million pound transfer ended?
The British transfer market isn’t current open at this moment in time but although there is no football being played, the Premier League and FA have not stated the window will not open as usual on 17th May.
Clubs have been allowed to extend contracts for those players set to be out when the current season was due to end potentially signalling that the season may resume in some capacity and that clubs have biggest enough squads to cope if matches are to be played.
But if and when the transfer market is to open what could we see happening?
Players looking for a lucrative pay day in Asia may now be having seconds thoughts about a move however if they are looking to re-coup some potential loss of earnings, I wouldn’t write it off just yet.
Will we ever see a 35million swoop for Andy Carrol type deal again? The best part of £100Milion to re-sign a player the club let leave on a free during his academy days? Clubs like Everton and Wolves able to fork out tens of millions each transfer window.
The transfer market may have peaked but will always throw out the odd anomaly such as Chelsea buying a goalkeeper for a club record fee who’s days look numbered.
But what knock on effects might we see in the future?
With 15 of the current 20 Premier League clubs backed by owners worth over an estimated Billion pounds, clubs in the promised land will no doubt recover.
However those mid table championship clubs down to the national league, although owned by what I would call ‘every day’ rich will Covid-19 change the landscape of footballing transfer forever?
The average fee payed from Premier League clubs during the 2019 summer was around £18.5 million, as per the Chronicles findings. It comes as no surprise though that since Premier League bosses signed a TV rights deal from 2013-2016 worth over £3 billion, a huge spike in transfer fee occurred.
And once a second deal was penned for rights from 2016-19 for £5.1 Billion (Chronicle figures), transfers hit new heights again.
The average fee jumped by around £5 million from roughly £8.5 to £13.5 million between the 15/16 – 16/17 season then hit its all-time high during the 17/18 season as the average free rose to £18.5m.
It has since fell by £2 million with an average of around 16m the current going rate a Premier League club folks out per transfer.
But with the 19/20 season still a mystery, prize money, TV money, match day income, sponsorship etc the fear is not how are premier league clubs going to survive, it’s how the rest of the ‘pack’ will.
Whilst Championship clubs occasionally hit the ‘jackpot’ with Premier League or other European clubs coming in and making an offer too good to refuse for maybe an academy graduate or a player who was originally signed from a lower league club, the majority of the money in the league comes from ‘parachute’ payments from clubs that have been relegated from the premier league.
Queens Park Rangers, Huddersfield and Fulham are three clubs that come to mind in recent years that have spent big bucks in a quest to establish themselves in the Premier League.
But when things don’t work out, are left with huge wage bills with a significant cut in revenue.
It’s not difficult for big clubs to pay the price of getting to greedy or failing to keep their finances in check, Bolton, Portsmouth, Rangers to name a few.
The loan market is a lucrative system for Championship and lower league clubs as they are able to bring in players they would have ‘no right’ in usually signing however could the loan market now be where we see a lot of deals done.
‘Loaning’ a player would make sense when the footballing world does resume, especially for those ‘lesser’ called clubs who have missed out on not only tens of thousands but Millions of pounds in revenue.
American sports such as the NFL, Basketball and Baseball have a trading system where players can be traded between clubs during a certain time frame. Much like a transfer, this market could potentially boom as a number of different scenarios and leverage could be used to complete a trade.
It could be a bit of a lottery, but if the right trade is made both teams can win. This isn’t necessarily said that one single trade has to be between two parties.
Neither club would really be in the ‘hot’ seat with a host of strategies and leverage used to conduct a swap or trade.
Club A are struggling near the bottom of the table have a striker who is scoring regular goals however have a very leaky defence.
Club B are pushing for promotion lose their striker to injury but have the best defence in the league.
Club A approach B about a trade of their striker for a defender, however using the strikers goals as leverage also want their reserve striker to balance the swap.
Two suitable players are offered and the trade is made, both clubs come out of the deal in a good situation.
Would West Ham trading Declan Rice for Naby Keita and Divock Origi really be a bad deal for both clubs?
Some clubs may not directly want to deal directly with each other through rivalry or bitterness, that’s where a third club come in.
Say for example Leeds did not want to deal directly with Hudderfield for their top midfielder.
Leeds could offer a third party club, let’s say Bristol City one of their players if they can get the Huddersfield player to join them.
Huddersfield and Bristol City agree a swap for the player Leeds are after and in-turn Bristol then immediately swap that player for the agreed Leeds player.
Thus a three way trade where all parties involved get their player.
As complicated as it may be, it works in the American Sports market. To the point where some players are actually left in the dark thinking they have signed for one club only to find out they have been swapped.
Whilst it may seem a long way off the mark the way the current transfer market is, I don’t foresee it to be unreasonable that we see such a change in the market.
The only problem is without the transfer fees, the wage demands could be huge.
We are in an era where not only the fees payed for players are huge but the wages also, but if a club could potentially save themselves millions of pounds in fee’s by paying over the odds wages on shorter contracts and being able to potentially offload the player if the move doesn’t work out, what is there to lose?
I don’t see wage restrictions or bands being introduced, but that’s best left for another day.
For now, with a global pandemic and financial crisis maybe upon us, although a raw idea and I’m obviously not suggesting that transfer are done for.
I’m sure the World Record fee will be broken yet again (cough Mbappe) but for those lower league clubs, not only could it be a way to save the club financially, it benefits all parties involved in the ‘trade’.
I can almost sense it, Teemu Pukki swapped for Harry Kane. And like that the World is a better place.
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