The end of the transfer market as we know it ?

lysglimt

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Due to the insane prices mentioned, it is likely we are heading towards a huge shift in the transfer market where a lot less players will change clubs. If you go back 20 years, it's hard to think of many quality players not ending up at the 4-5 best clubs in the Premier League. Today it's hard to imagine anyone but the 2-3 absolutely best players ending up at the best clubs.

Harry Kane will continue to be linked to the absolute best clubs as long as Spurs don't win trophies or at least reach C.L on a regular basis. But Kane turns 28 next summer, Spurs will want £100 million + for him, but how many clubs can pay that amount, and how many will sign a 28 year old player fot that amount. If Kane wants to leave, he could have a hard time finding anyone willing to buy him. Signing a 28 year old for £100 m plus could easily be too risky for almost all clubs. And Kane better hope that the 2-3 clubs who might afford it, really wants him.

Grealish is another one - Villa will want £80 million for him. Maybe 4 clubs in the P.L can afford it - I can't sign Chelsea, Liverpool or United spending £80 million on him - and I even doubt that City will.

Another problem is the high wages -players int he biggest clubs have so high wages, it's almost impossible for any other clubs than the 4-5 best clubs in the P.L to sign them.

We could end up with a situation where only 2-3 of the best players can change clubs each season as no top-club can afford to buy more than 1 really expensive player - and all the really good players at the second best clubs are stuck unless they let their contract run out. And they better hope that their club match their ambitions, because realistically almost no one can afford to buy them.

I have mentioned 2 - we can add Declan Rice, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Pedro Neto, James Ward-Prowse - all players who could have a hard time changing clubs if they want to.

We could ironically have a situation where agent-power and player-freedom drives the control back into the hands of the clubs again
 

Coops73

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Did you read Joorabchian‘s comments? :D
It’s all relative though I guess, transfer fees may be lower but so will the money that clubs have for transfers.

They will probably steadily increase again once the fans are back in the stadiums and state/billionaire owned clubs with little history or draw other than the wages they can offer will continue to operate on a different level and pay overinflated prices to lure the best players away from the historically “big” clubs.

In short, it will probably only be a temporary blip in my opinion.
 
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The current market is a career killer for high quality players at mid-small PL clubs due to the transfer fee they can demand. We’ve seen it with Wilf Zaha, we’re seeing it with Jack Grealish. They could walk into a top 6 team, yet can’t get a move because their clubs are demanding exorbitant amounts of money.
 

do.ob

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Kane and Grealish are players who put themselves in such position (due to loyalty?). The reason why they might have trouble moving now is, because they signed long term contracts without release clauses. That was a choice they made and they would be much more "mobile" if they had chosen to run down their contracts or force a release clause.
 

Raees

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Kane and Grealish are players who put themselves in such position (due to loyalty?). The reason why they might have trouble moving now is, because they signed long term contracts without release clauses. That was a choice they made and they would be much more "mobile" if they had chosen to run down their contracts or force a release clause.
If these players really wanted to they would force the issue but I guess they’re beholden to their clubs and don’t want to risk losing their golden boy status in the world of social media.

Lack of ambition also plays a part too.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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Players that want to move will just run down their contracts. Quality players at smaller clubs won't renew, they'll wait till the final six months of their contract and assess all the available offers.

Even at bigger clubs. Players who leave for a free to play at other clubs get much better salaries (see Herrera), so I expect to see more players either renewing very late or moving for free (as De Gea did or Pogba is now doing).
 

do.ob

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I’ve thought for years we’d go toward shorter contracts with higher sign-on fees. I don’t understand why top young players sign 5/6 year deals.
Because when one injury can derail your career entirely it's nice to have a contract in the 8 figure volume.
 

Ali Dia

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The current market is a career killer for high quality players at mid-small PL clubs due to the transfer fee they can demand. We’ve seen it with Wilf Zaha, we’re seeing it with Jack Grealish. They could walk into a top 6 team, yet can’t get a move because their clubs are demanding exorbitant amounts of money.
I think you’ll see a lot more of the Bayern style tapping up in this league going forward. Whatever about paying top Dollar for Kane or Grealish, who the hell wants to be paying 40/50 million for the likes of Brooks or Longstaff, it’s just a squad player. The only way these guys are going to be able to move to clubs with higher wages is by running their deals down or having a release clause
 

Velvet Revolver

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Its good for mid table teams, they can hold on to their star players for a couple more years. Getting 50-80 million on one player is much less valuable than staying in PL. assuming gate receipts are back
 

Zlatattack

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Kane and Grealish are players who put themselves in such position (due to loyalty?). The reason why they might have trouble moving now is, because they signed long term contracts without release clauses. That was a choice they made and they would be much more "mobile" if they had chosen to run down their contracts or force a release clause.
I was going to say this. Players can either demand a release clause or ask for a smaller contract.
 

AneRu

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Due to the insane prices mentioned, it is likely we are heading towards a huge shift in the transfer market where a lot less players will change clubs. If you go back 20 years, it's hard to think of many quality players not ending up at the 4-5 best clubs in the Premier League. Today it's hard to imagine anyone but the 2-3 absolutely best players ending up at the best clubs.

Harry Kane will continue to be linked to the absolute best clubs as long as Spurs don't win trophies or at least reach C.L on a regular basis. But Kane turns 28 next summer, Spurs will want £100 million + for him, but how many clubs can pay that amount, and how many will sign a 28 year old player fot that amount. If Kane wants to leave, he could have a hard time finding anyone willing to buy him. Signing a 28 year old for £100 m plus could easily be too risky for almost all clubs. And Kane better hope that the 2-3 clubs who might afford it, really wants him.

Grealish is another one - Villa will want £80 million for him. Maybe 4 clubs in the P.L can afford it - I can't sign Chelsea, Liverpool or United spending £80 million on him - and I even doubt that City will.

Another problem is the high wages -players int he biggest clubs have so high wages, it's almost impossible for any other clubs than the 4-5 best clubs in the P.L to sign them.

We could end up with a situation where only 2-3 of the best players can change clubs each season as no top-club can afford to buy more than 1 really expensive player - and all the really good players at the second best clubs are stuck unless they let their contract run out. And they better hope that their club match their ambitions, because realistically almost no one can afford to buy them.

I have mentioned 2 - we can add Declan Rice, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Pedro Neto, James Ward-Prowse - all players who could have a hard time changing clubs if they want to.

We could ironically have a situation where agent-power and player-freedom drives the control back into the hands of the clubs again
You overlook one thing - the human factor. A player like Kane, if he really wants out he will leave even at 28 because if his heart is no longer in it then performances will inevitably suffer in a similar manner to Eriksen.

If Grealish continues with his performances then he will move for big money in 2022 or 23 especially if things start to get back to normal.
 

dbs235

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Seems like it's going to be so difficult to prise away the likes of Grealish, Maddison, Barnes, Rice, DCL without paying ridiculous fees. With Grealish there's no real doubts that he's worth it but for the others it's hard to see any team commiting to that big of a fee on them. Helps keep the PL competitive instead of clubs like Leicester and Villa being decimated when they put a decent team together, but makes it difficult for the players to progress to a better team.
 

do.ob

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How often do we see that happen nowadays?
The list of players who experienced a sharp decline at a young age or flop/turn out a one hit wonder is a very long one.
For example at Barca Ansu Fati has some troubling injury worries this season, Dembele has been marred by them as well. Bayern pushed their wage bill into new dimensions, by giving Götze a contract he never justified on the pitch. Kingsley Coman talked about potentially ending his career, Badstuber was battling for minutes with Hummels and Boateng, before injuries completely ruined him.
 

Chesterlestreet

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It's the end of the transfer market as we know it - and I'm not sure whether to feel fine or not.
 

RedDevilCanuck

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It will morph into a north American model - trades and signing free agents that are out of contract.

I'm sure there is something United could work out with Villa for Grealish or with West Ham and Rice.

Lingard being our trade piece and United covering portions of wages etc. We also have talented young players to offer on loan.

Grealish has the highest chance of being a success. Just like RVP. Who cares about the position delimma. We can't hold the ball, can't break down low blocks and can't stamp any kind of authority on games. Grealish can do all these things easily from the left, right and center.
 

Bilbo

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The market will recover, but for the next couple of years I think we'll see an increase in players running down contracts & swap deals for players.
 

Leftback99

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There needs to be a correction in prices. The smaller clubs holding the players they want ridiculous fees for also need cash to buy players themselves. Others will need the money just to keep operating.
 

McGrathsipan

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Players contracts will change and its yet to be seen if the club retains the power or the player.

I'm glad the market has come to a shuddering halt. It was getting out of control. Dont forget not so long ago 9 figure sums were seen as madness and now you can't get a fecking decent young player unless you are willing to pay 100 million.
PSG and Barcelona paying frankly silly money for Neymar and cnuty skewed the market.

Players may now only agree to short term fixed contracts with rolling one year add ons. Doesnt pay agents to see players remain at one club
 

adexkola

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Clubs who are able to find underpriced gems in the market, or bring through youth will benefit the most from this shift. Can't say I'm mad at this development. Success shouldn't be tied to how much money you can throw around.
 

gazbradley

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I’m surprised more players don’t have buyout clauses in the contracts, I was certain Grealish would’ve asked for one when renewing.
Haaland and his team seem to have used this to good affect where he can move on to the next step in his career and the selling club gets a decent profit on investment
 

Nou_Camp99

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I think we are heading for the age of 2 to 3 year player contracts and next to no transfer fees, yeah. However it won't happen overnight. It's going to take time.

Football transfers are simply now unsustainable.
 

Adam-Utd

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I think eventually players will sign much smaller contracts and club loyalty will be a thing of the past. I don't really see why players in their prime sign long contracts anyway, especially the top ones.
 

Adam-Utd

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Protection in case of injury or a season of bad form.
Yeah I get that, injury is obviously the main reason. I think though with the way fees are going if you could pick up somebody on a free transfer you're going to give them a chance anyway.
 

Blueman

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Its all Countinho's fault, he was shit for £145m! It'll settle though
 

M Bison

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I also think there’ll be more players running their contracts down. Pogba is a really interesting example, unreal player on his day and a marketeers dream, but is another club likely to pay the money Utd would demand for him? Unlikely imo, especially with his contract situation...

Sancho is another one. Dortmund were willing to take €120m last season (if reports are to be believed) and yet now with his contract dwindling and clubs with less money including Dortmund, not to mention an underwhelming season, I’d be gobsmacked if anyone pays that for him.

Agree with the OP, the market is changing, this summer will be interesting to watch, and perhaps a little frustrating.
 

adexkola

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Yeah I get that, injury is obviously the main reason. I think though with the way fees are going if you could pick up somebody on a free transfer you're going to give them a chance anyway.
Absolutely but imagine Kane as a free agent, coming off an ankle injury. Very possible he gets stiffed in his new deal, compensation wise.
 

Adam-Utd

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Absolutely but imagine Kane as a free agent, coming off an ankle injury. Very possible he gets stiffed in his new deal, compensation wise.
I guess that's the risk/reward people would choose.

Look at the NFL guys, some of them can get paid way more than they normally would when out of contract, but can also get injured towards the end of their contracts and risk not having a place next season.

I think we'll end up seeing smaller 2 year deals with higher wages but less transfer fees.
 

hungrywing

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Is there a good comprehensive book out there that explores what happened to the market?

Obviously simple greed and the bigger more well-known elements, but in terms of covering lesser-known details.
 

Oranges038

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One way to correct market values is to remove the transfer windows and registration windows. Straight away the buying clubs aren't held to ransom by the selling clubs as they aren't restricted by a set period with a deadline to sign and register a player.

Combined that with every player having a release fee relative to the the size of their current contract or yearly pay or some sort of percentage working. For argument sake 10 times their annual salary. The average wage of a Premier league player is approximately £60,000 - £60,000×52×10=31,200,00. Now I know there are bonuses etc. this is just an idea.

If 1Rice is on £62,000 a week, you could work it out that £62,000×52×10=£32,240,00. Which in reality is more in line to what he is actually worth than what West Ham would demand.

Sancho is reportedly on £160,000 a week, so £160,000×52×10=£83,200,00. Which I think is close enough to what it was reported that Ed offered for him.

Not an exact science and fairly basic, I'm sure the governing bodies could come up with something better and a lot more straight forward and less open to abuse and creative accountancy.
 

adexkola

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One way to correct market values is to remove the transfer windows and registration windows. Straight away the buying clubs aren't held to ransom by the selling clubs as they aren't restricted by a set period with a deadline to sign and register a player.

Combined that with every player having a release fee relative to the the size of their current contract or yearly pay or some sort of percentage working. For argument sake 10 times their annual salary. The average wage of a Premier league player is approximately £60,000 - £60,000×52×10=31,200,00. Now I know there are bonuses etc. this is just an idea.

If 1Rice is on £62,000 a week, you could work it out that £62,000×52×10=£32,240,00. Which in reality is more in line to what he is actually worth than what West Ham would demand.

Sancho is reportedly on £160,000 a week, so £160,000×52×10=£83,200,00. Which I think is close enough to what it was reported that Ed offered for him.

Not an exact science and fairly basic, I'm sure the governing bodies could come up with something better and a lot more straight forward and less open to abuse and creative accountancy.
Let's say West Ham sell Rice to us for 32M. Can they get a similar replacement for that amount?
 

Withnail

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Kane and Grealish are players who put themselves in such position (due to loyalty?). The reason why they might have trouble moving now is, because they signed long term contracts without release clauses. That was a choice they made and they would be much more "mobile" if they had chosen to run down their contracts or force a release clause.
I was just thinking the same thing reading the OP. Kane, Grealish and Zaha effectively priced themselves out of a move. Although I do think there's an element of self preservation and security at stake.

There's no guarantee a player doesn't get a career ending injury while they wind down their contract.

In saying that, I do expect to see a lot more players going not renewing and moving for free over the next few years.
 

ATXRedDevil

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One way to correct market values is to remove the transfer windows and registration windows. Straight away the buying clubs aren't held to ransom by the selling clubs as they aren't restricted by a set period with a deadline to sign and register a player.

Combined that with every player having a release fee relative to the the size of their current contract or yearly pay or some sort of percentage working. For argument sake 10 times their annual salary. The average wage of a Premier league player is approximately £60,000 - £60,000×52×10=31,200,00. Now I know there are bonuses etc. this is just an idea.

If 1Rice is on £62,000 a week, you could work it out that £62,000×52×10=£32,240,00. Which in reality is more in line to what he is actually worth than what West Ham would demand.

Sancho is reportedly on £160,000 a week, so £160,000×52×10=£83,200,00. Which I think is close enough to what it was reported that Ed offered for him.

Not an exact science and fairly basic, I'm sure the governing bodies could come up with something better and a lot more straight forward and less open to abuse and creative accountancy.
Works in principle but in practice, what about a young player that develops rapidly 2 years into a 5/6 year contract and is on wages that reflect his ability at the start of the contract. His current club is clearly responsible for the opportunity he got and his development, but they would have to let him go for what he was reasonably worth two years ago rather than in the present. Doesn’t seem fair to the club that helped nurture the talent.

Now if you tied the release clause to the agreed wages accepted with the buying club, that may be a great idea. You’re essentially saying that if your new club and you/your agent value you at this much, then the club should get equivalent value.

Tricky part would be coming up with a multiple (or multiples, if tiered based on contract size) that’s not completely arbitrary and dealing with bonuses and alternative pay arrangements (if I was the buying club I’m sure I could structure the contract with contingent payments to try to get around the contract valuation that’s subject to the multiple). Then you get in to trying to codify when a contingent payment is deemed probable and should count in the release clause calculation and what’s unlikely to be triggered and shouldn’t.
 

redshaw

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There is a problem, often said a while back and I feel Declan Rice is a good example, a decent tidy ~£40m player but this fee is not tempting for lower clubs anymore and paying 80m is too much for many of the big clubs so players and clubs have to weigh up the contract lengths better
 

dinostar77

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Fees will go down to probably 2015 levels but transfer market itself will carry on as usual
Theres a truck load of legal agreements and documents to resolve before any substantial changes could happen. These take years to go through the various authorities, clubs i.e. ECA, UEFA, FIFA etc etc.
 

NicolaSacco

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Of the 88 clubs (or whatever) in the football league I’d say maybe 3-4 would want the elimination of transfer windows and the other 85 would be against it. It was brought in for a good reason and that reason still stands.

As for the talk of this being a long term change- I doubt it, the fundamentals of football will return and yes we may have a short deflationary period, but that’s just how a finance-orientated sport works.
 

DSG

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Due to the insane prices mentioned, it is likely we are heading towards a huge shift in the transfer market where a lot less players will change clubs. If you go back 20 years, it's hard to think of many quality players not ending up at the 4-5 best clubs in the Premier League. Today it's hard to imagine anyone but the 2-3 absolutely best players ending up at the best clubs.

Harry Kane will continue to be linked to the absolute best clubs as long as Spurs don't win trophies or at least reach C.L on a regular basis. But Kane turns 28 next summer, Spurs will want £100 million + for him, but how many clubs can pay that amount, and how many will sign a 28 year old player fot that amount. If Kane wants to leave, he could have a hard time finding anyone willing to buy him. Signing a 28 year old for £100 m plus could easily be too risky for almost all clubs. And Kane better hope that the 2-3 clubs who might afford it, really wants him.

Grealish is another one - Villa will want £80 million for him. Maybe 4 clubs in the P.L can afford it - I can't sign Chelsea, Liverpool or United spending £80 million on him - and I even doubt that City will.

Another problem is the high wages -players int he biggest clubs have so high wages, it's almost impossible for any other clubs than the 4-5 best clubs in the P.L to sign them.

We could end up with a situation where only 2-3 of the best players can change clubs each season as no top-club can afford to buy more than 1 really expensive player - and all the really good players at the second best clubs are stuck unless they let their contract run out. And they better hope that their club match their ambitions, because realistically almost no one can afford to buy them.

I have mentioned 2 - we can add Declan Rice, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Pedro Neto, James Ward-Prowse - all players who could have a hard time changing clubs if they want to.

We could ironically have a situation where agent-power and player-freedom drives the control back into the hands of the clubs again
With all due respect, that’s not how free markets work. The number of players changing teams will not be affected, but the numbers will continue to get larger. There are many more ways to monetize player acquisitions than there were 30 years ago, the the transfer fees have risen accordingly. I get what you are saying, the pool of spend needs to grow, otherwise, there will be less transfers, because a larger portion of the spend will be towards top players. In that case, the middle and lower range of transfer fees will be affected, not the number of players. The pandemic was a one-off, it did affect the number of deals, but that was because of uncertainty on the revenue side.