The transfer window closed last week in the Bundesliga, and there are some noticeable changes in the way clubs react in the market for players. Football, as we know it today, is big business and the Neymar effect is palpable in the transfers. Many clubs are trying to stay afloat by taking proactive measures in hiring new players and selling old players for profit. At the end of the day, the clubs, agents, and players are all business people.
According to the estimates calculated by German news agency(DPA) from the transfer window, German clubs spent a total of 570 Million Euro for 130 players, which is an increase from last year that was placed at 512,59 million Euro. The amount here does not reflect the fees from leased players. Furthermore, the clubs earned some good money from selling players, like the 105 million Euro earned by Dortmund from the sale of Ousmane Dembele. A total of 485 million Euro was earned during the transfer deals made by Bundesliga clubs excluding bonuses.
It has become expensive for clubs facing a cash crunch to acquire new players. Because clubs with lots of cash are enticing players with numerous offers despite the UEFA’s policy of financial fair play(FFP). To ameliorate the problem, many Bundesliga clubs are now hiring players by leasing, and a buy option.
Take the case of Bayern Munich. Bayern spent 41,5 Million Euro for the French man Corentin Tolisso He is the most expensive Bayern player so far. They also have James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Bayern could have paid more for Rodriguez but opted for leasing him from Madrid.
Werder Bremen signed Algeria’s Ishak Belfodil at the last minute before the transfer window closed. Bremen opted for leasing to reduce cost. Bremen will pay Standard Lütttich, one million Euro for a year with an option to buy for 10 million Euro.
The examples above are just a tip of the iceberg. Leasing with an option to buy has become the new normal. The value of a player becomes directly proportional to his efforts. And in cases where the chemistry between the player and club is conducive, the buy option is the only way out of the contract. It helps clubs to mitigate the cost and reduce the risks of buying players outright who might not be the best in the long run.
Although some clubs regard FFP as a paper tiger, many players are not honoring contracts anymore. Ousmane Dembele comes to mind. He forced his way out of Dortmund. Dembele’s exit created so much drama.
RB Leipzig has come up with a novel idea to avoid tension with Naby Keita who wants to leave the club as soon as possible. They announced an amicable deal with FC Liverpool in time to erase all doubts for parties involved upfront. Already, the FC Liverpool are paying some amount of money to Leipzig. The main transfer money which is approximately 55 Million Euro would be paid in 2018. Now, Keita can concentrate on leaving Leipzig on a high, and be improving the lot of RB Leipzig.
There was a time when Brazilian players like Lucio, Ze Roberto, Marcelinho, Elber, Dunga or Dede were household names in the Bundesliga. In fact, Bayer Leverkusen had a special scouting department for Brazilian players. The era when Brazil used to be the destination of Bundesliga clubs for recruitment of players is gone with the wind.
Enter France as the new attractive destination of Bundesliga clubs. The French players are regarded as physically robust, and tactically well trained. Also, the players are affordable.The list of players from France contains budding stars like Abdou Diallo, Corentin Tolisso,Ibrahima konate, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Amine Harit or Sebastien Haller etc. They all have one thing in common-hunger for success.
The commercialization of football is on the rise, and who knows, maybe the famous 50+1 rule could be a thing of the past in the Bundesliga soon. The playing times have been revised to make the league attractive for television viewers worldwide. The present discord between die-hard fans and managers of the game is not an intractable problem.
However, modernization in the name of commerce must not override the attractiveness, passion, and success of the beautiful game in the Bundesliga.