How do Football Contracts Work???

Discussion in 'Arsenal' started by Val1, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    OK,

    I am confused by all the speculation over Vieira to Real....

    I guess I'm missing something. PV signed a new contract last year, for four years, so he's got three years left. Everything I read seems to indicate that he "could" leave if he wanted to, e.g. if he thought Real had a better chance of winning the CL or to be reunited with ZZ, etc. Can he leave simply because he wants to? If not, why are we even having this conversation? If Wenger wants him, how could we lose him?

    TIA

    Val


  2. dwinkler

    dwinkler New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2000
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Just off the top of my head, I can't think of any sport that adheres less to contracts than soccer. Maybe pro wrestling.

    Seriously, it's all about higher wages and selling players. The big fish swallow the little fish. It's happened to us (Anelka, Paddy?), and we do it to others (Jeffers). Agents seem to have an obscene amount of influence in soccer, even compared to other sports, so the scenario as I see it is someone at a club tells an agent that they really want his player, agent plants bug in player's ear (with new weekly wages, by the way), and then it happens.
  3. PaulV

    PaulV New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    The players have a lot of power because, while they do have a signed contract, they could elect to play out their contract and then they would be free to leave and the club would get nothing for them (i.e. a 'Bosman'). Arsenal either want Paddy for the long term, or they want to get something sigificant for him in terms of a transfer fee. It's no use having an unhappy player play out their contract and then seeing them move on, getting nothing in return. Players often threaten to play out their contract when they want more money or want a transfer to another club, then it's up to their current club to evaluate how much the player is worth to them.
  4. jwaldman11

    jwaldman11 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    The OC
    A lot of it has to do with the way the transfer system as a whole works. In all the other sports, if you want to acquire a player under contract, you have to be willing to give up players/prospects, etc, plus you can throw in cash, conditional clauses, and other things. Heck, in the NBA, they do sign-and-trade deals where, for salary cap reasons, a team will sign one of its own free agents and trade him to another team, so they're trading a guy they don't technically even employ anymore. Still, you almost never see a deal where a player is traded solely for money, mostly because the leagues almost universally frown upon that, and they're the ones with the final say.

    In football/soccer, its different because you can make a deal solely with money. The clubs that have money can put together these packages that enable them to buy players from the clubs who need money. Even the clubs who have money can be enticed by the right offer. Let's face it: $50 million to sell one player is pretty enticing, no matter who that player is. Throw in the fact that, as far as I know, UEFA really doesn't have to approve these transfers unless there's a dispute, and you have a system that makes contracts about as valuable as toilet paper, especially when you have unhappy players. That's why I love the NFL system so much: if a guy doesn't perform and wants to bitch and moan, you can cut him and not pay him anything. It might screw your salary cap figures up, but it won't affect your bottom line.

    I will say, Dan, that there is one facet of sports where contracts mean almost nothing: coaching. I can probably run down at least ten names within the past year who signed long term deals only to leave after a year (Ben Howland, anyone?). It's especially bad at the college level, where coaches might be technically signed through 2010...but only if their dream job doesn't come available.


  5. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    So, this Bosman thing sounds kind of like free-agency. I understand not wanting to lose a player and get nothing of value in return. But please, Vieira's got THREE years left on his contract. So, he walks in three years, I say three more years is worth far more than 30 million.

    I mean, look at the New Jersey Nets. Kelvin Martin's been wanting to leave for three years now. He gave his heart and soul to the team, helped them to two conference championships, and he did leave. But the Nets kept him, didn't engineer a trade and he played hard, even if he wasn't happy. Do we really think that PV is going to go into a three year sulk? Are football players inherently more spoiled than America's sporting pros?

    You could argue that the Nets mortgaged their future by not getting something in return for K-Mart, but I think that they gambled on winning now, while they had Kidd to partner with Martin. Arsenal has a sublime team right now, if we were ever to going to go for chance to win the CL, now's the time. I say keep Vieira and if he's unhappier, so what? 30 mil's nothing, really. Keep the player...
  6. Jasonisimo

    Jasonisimo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    Coaching contracts are always honored to a degree. If the coach/manager doesn't stay until the contract expires, then either the team that lures him away or the team that fires him will usually pay a buyout fee. In the case of a firing, the team may honor almost all of the remaining salary if the coach doesn't find employment. That's my understanding, anyway.

    You were right at first when you said NFL contracts are the most meaningless of all.
  7. nicephoras

    nicephoras BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    NFL contracts are NOT guaranteed. That's a fundamental difference, and the only sport where this is true. In other words, if the team isn't happy with your performance, they can just fire you on the spot and not have to pay you. You cannot pull a Winston Bogarde in pro football. That's why you're seeing a lot more contracts in the NFL with front-loaded bonuses, and deals with such huge salaries 5 years down the line that you KNOW the team has no interest honoring the contract. But its great fodder for the agent who can tell prospective clients "I got John Smith 20M over 4 years", even if John Smith makes 5M in two years and then gets released.

    As for why football contracts are a lot more malleable.......there has been quite a bit said about this already. The Bosman ruling (fascinating from a legal standpoint, incidentally, since UEFA is NOT a government agency, and the EU courts somewhat extended their reach in a football case, of all things) is free agency. However, what makes such a difference is presence of other leagues. In other words, if a US player in any sports starts sulking and demands to play only for the Lakers or the Yankees........the Yankees aren't very likely to make a public move for him. First, they'd need to trade something, and second you just don't do things like that. Players can occasionally force things (in drafts, specifically), but have little power while under contract. Other teams won't approach those players because that's called tampering. Its also very poor form - these teams are a part of one economic whole; to create ill will between owners is bad for business, especially since they need to keep their little monopoly running.
    You can point to Gerrard and Chelsea, but our public pursuit of Gerrard was limited to "we like him". Real can turn on a lot more pressure, because they don't particulary care.

    The biggest reason these contracts aren't often honored, of course, is that the ability to buy players for cash alone makes these players assets. A good analogy is manufacturing equipment. If your company (we'll call it Arsenal) makes widgets, and some Spanish company shows up and says "we'd like to buy this machine for 40M", you have a choice. Do you think you can replace that machine? If you think you can, and you think the machine isn't worth 40M in the first place, you'd sell. Its all about asset valuation. Since US sports don't allow sales of players, this is a moot point here. However, if you look at your potential cost structure, and decide Arsenal can make widgets just as well without that machine, you'd sell. No reason not to.
  8. Andy

    Andy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 1998
    Location:
    NYC
    They can trade players for cash. Its just very rare.
  9. nicephoras

    nicephoras BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    Not entirely true. You can use cash as boot - i.e. a throw in, but only in baseball. And then, it has to be approved by the commissioner. I think you can't trade players for cash if the amount is over $3M. In football and basketball, leagues with salary caps, this is even less of an issue. Its just not done.
  10. dwinkler

    dwinkler New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2000
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Eddie Sutton can bounce from job to job (usually leaving NCAA investigators in his wake), but a player has to sit out a year if he wants to play at the same level. Yet another reason why the NCAA is an ass.

Share This Page