The use and merit of release clauses

Hansi Fick

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The Upamecano transfer thread was closed at a point when there was discussion about his release clause and how it was supposedly low.

So I thought I would post the answer in a new thread, to discuss the construct Leipzig used in Upamecano's contract, and the use of release clauses generally, and whether it has merits (excluding Spain where they are legally mandated).

For most smaller clubs like Dortmund and the likes, those release clauses literally are their business imo. Only thing really worrying and wrong about it is if the release clause simply is too low. 42 m € for someone like Upamecano is not market value. Those clauses should be at least as high as the player's market value, though. If the clause is high enough, it doesn't matter at all, since bigger clubs like Real, Barca, Bayern and EPL clubs can throw around with insane amounts of money and the likes of Dortmund will almost never be able to hold onto them anyways. Especially Dortmund showed in the last decade that no matter if there's a clause or not, their top players can leave and will force a move, if necessary. As I said before, the real pity is if the clause is too low.
I can't be sure but I think the arrangement Leipzig and Upamecano made was similar to Werner's. Upamecano was 'supposed' to have left already last summer for a higher release fee, but it didn't pan out.
And instead of him nearing the end of his contract and clubs getting negotiating leverage through that, he panned a new one with a lower, fixed transfer fee for 2021, a sum they can count on and account with.
So then 42,5m would actually be kind of the market value of him having just one year left, codified as a release clause.

I wrote "supposed to leave" in the above paragraph as the whole thing hinges on a club like Leipzig knowing that they are by default a transit station for any players with top ambition and quality, and release clause are used to control and regulate this position as a transit station.
 
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I don’t understand the argument from @Rektsanwalt

a release clause can be set at whatever level is agreed, furthermore when a clause is inserted, there is no certainty over what the ‘market value’ of the player would be.

it can also work in favour of the selling club, where the buying club may pay more to activate the release clause than they would if there’s no clause.
 
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Still stupid, much smarter to drop your demands/price last Summer and sell him abroad.
If they’d put him on sale for 50m euros last Summer they’d have had plenty of takers, now they just allow themselves to be Bayern’s bitches. Thank God we don’t run our club like that, the Berties would take the piss every Summer.
It’s always smarter to sell abroad than to a league rival.
 
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Still stupid, much smarter to drop your demands/price last Summer and sell him abroad.
If they’d put him on sale for 50m euros last Summer they’d have had plenty of takers, now they just allow themselves to be Bayern’s bitches. Thank God we don’t run our club like that, the Berties would take the piss every Summer.
It’s always smarter to sell abroad than to a league rival.
 

Leftback99

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Would Leipzig be able to sign so many promising players without the offer of a reasonable release clause?
 
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Which is a demand the club can make without a release clause.
which is less credible.

It’s not just football release clauses, but in many different negotiations where there are fixed prices.

anyway. If you can’t see it, I’m not going to argue it
 

gajender

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“we won’t sell unless you pay the release clause”

negotiation is about credible leverage.

You haven't thought this through have you they have already ceded the right to say no to sale by inserting the clause they are powerless to stop it it's always makes more sense for clubs not to have these clauses then to have it.
 

ivaldo

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which is less credible.

It’s not just football release clauses, but in many different negotiations where there are fixed prices.

anyway. If you can’t see it, I’m not going to argue it
Less credible how?

I can't see it because it literally makes no sense.
 

Rektsanwalt

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I don’t understand the argument from @Rektsanwalt

a release clause can be set at whatever level is agreed, furthermore when a clause is inserted, there is no certainty over what the ‘market value’ of the player would be.

it can also work in favour of the selling club, where the buying club may pay more to activate the release clause than they would if there’s no clause.
Sorry if my post was not understandable, I thought and still think it was, but of course I'll try to make my point easier to grasp.

In Spain, release clauses are mandatory. But they're often exaggerated (from the pov of the date the contract is concluded), which leads to a stronger position of the selling club. My point is, clubs like Dortmund and in this case Leipzig have not negotiated a release clause which favors their own position. They give in too much in that regard, which leads to players like Götze or Upamecano being bought for cheap money. Obviously any level can be agreed and there is no certainty over what the market value of the player would be, which is exactly why it's so important for a club to find a clause which is high enough. It's speculation and risk management, and that's what I think these clubs have been pretty bad at.
 
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Hansi Fick

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“we won’t sell unless you pay the release clause”

negotiation is about credible leverage.
Well, technically if someone pays the release clause, according to whatever conditions are set in the contract, it's not the club 'selling' at all.

In Spain, with the legally mandatory clauses, I guess it's even a bit more extreme as the money has to be paid 'by the player' to the league office etc, we all remember the lawyer 'imposters' Woodward was said to have sent to the local Bilbao RFEF office on deadline day 2013 to ask about the procedure.

And if I'm not mistaken, in Hernandez' case, it was officially a transfer, with a transfer fee, 'negotiated' between Bayern and Atletico as to make things easier (installments/taxes/structureing, what do I know), but to the amount of the release clause.

It's mainly Bilbao who play such hard ball that they insist on the procedure being played out,even if a buying club offers the full clause sum, or a bit on top, to them, because they simply don't sell.
 
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You haven't thought this through have you they have already ceded the right to say no to sale by inserting the clause they are powerless to stop it it's always makes more sense for clubs not to have these clauses then to have it.
You haven’t thought your comment through. Furthermore, your post is pretty incoherent. Punctuation would help.
 

Hansi Fick

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Would Leipzig be able to sign so many promising players without the offer of a reasonable release clause?
That's the bingo question. You have to assume that the calculation they make is that, no.

The downside of having clauses in the contracts (which enables things like Bayern poaching Upamecano) is making possible the upside of getting top talent to choose them and to (temporarily) play for them.
 

Tarrou

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Sorry if my post was not understandable, I thought and still think it was, but of course I'll try to make my point easier to grasp.

In Spain, release clauses are mandatory. But they're often exaggerated (from the pov of the date the contract is concluded), which leads to a stronger position of the selling club. My point is, clubs like Dortmund and in this case Leipzig have not negotiated a release clause which favors their own position. They give in too much in that regard, which leads to players like Götze or Upamecano being bought for cheap money. Obviously any level can be agreed and there is no certainty over what the market value of the player would be, which is exactly why it's so important for a club to find a clause which is high enough. It's speculation and risk management, and that's what I think these clubs have been pretty bad at.
they're not in a position to do that, thats kinda the whole point
 
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Sorry if my post was not understandable, I thought and still think it was, but of course I'll try to make my point easier to grasp.

In Spain, release clauses are mandatory. But they're often exaggerated (from the pov of the date the contract is concluded), which leads to a stronger position of the selling club. My point is, clubs like Dortmund and in this case Leipzig have not negotiated a release clause which favors their own position. They give in too much in that regard, which leads to players like Götze or Upamecano being bought for cheap money. Obviously any level can be agreed and there is no certainty over what the market value of the player would be, which is exactly why it's so important for a club to find a clause which is high enough. It's speculation and risk management, and that's what I think these clubs have been pretty bad at.
I agree, it will more often than not weaken the position of the selling club.

Outside of Spain, it’s usually so that the player has a pre determined exit. You won’t find too many instances of a big club agreeing to such clauses.
 

Hansi Fick

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Are release clauses at all in use in English football? I.e., do we know of any player's contracts in PL or Championship that have one in their contract, or have had in the past?

I seem to faintly remember Fellaini having one at Everton?
 
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Are release clauses at all in use in English football? I.e., do we know of any player's contracts in PL or Championship that have one in their contract, or have had in the past?

I seem to faintly remember Fellaini having one at Everton?
there have been a few.

probably used more in lower leagues.

Christian Ziege was one, which Liverpool took advantage of, but think they got sued as the clause was confidential.