On Thursday, August 4th, 2017, Brazilian forward Neymar Jr signed for Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth € 222 million. “It’s not about the money,” said Neymar. “It’s about my happiness and I wasn’t happy in Barcelona. This move is for my family and for my ambition to win trophies worldwide”. Although, what he said may be true, people would surely try not to get swayed by his statement since this is the most expensive transfer in the world of football.
The move has not only brought criticism from many managers like Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp but it has led to the International Players’ Association Fifpro to demand an investigation into “anticompetitive, unjustified and illegal” Fifa transfer rules. The General Secretary, Theo van Seggelen bemoaned what he sees as a drift towards the dominance of world football by “a select group of rich, mostly European-based clubs”. While managers like Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola have shown concern towards such moves which violates the FFP’s basic principle of trying to have a stable market in the football world.
However, it’s hypocritical that people like Guardiola would criticize this as he himself has shelled out 51 and 54 million for two full backs. Plus, the buy – out clause of players seems to be overrated and overpriced for players as they are signed to ward off potential suitors for a large sum of money. Even Torino has a 100 million clause for Andrea Belotti who has just scored 20 + goals for one season and is 23 years old. Even a crazy millionaire won’t consider buying such players without giving them a chance to prove their mettle.
Another interesting aspect is the involvement of agents who build a good business deal and in the process, earn a hefty commission for themselves. One such example is of Paul Pogba’s transfer to Manchester United by his agent Mino Raiola. Raiola instigated his return last summer for a world record fee of £89 million, of which he is said to have received around £20 million. He was also instrumental in finalizing Lukaku’s move to Manchester United.
If a player is immensely talented, an overpriced move like this would certainly put a lot of investors off as the financial stakes are very high right now. One mistake in that player’s output on the field will make that club lose a lot of money.Every club wants to balance their economical sheet and avoid liquidation or bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, as Neymar completes his transfer, it will pave way for super expensive moves in the near future. Until FIFA decides to put away with the buy – out clause or with inflated price tags, perhaps the player with money will continue to happen. At any rate, smaller clubs will find it harder to sign players on their transfer wish list unless you get a huge investment in your transfer kitty. As football keeps falling in the hands of consumerism and dramatic transfer fees, it is perhaps an indication of a difficult time for the clubs ahead in the future.