How can Lower Division Clubs make Money from Player Transfers and Sales?


04 Aug
04Aug

How many of us know that until a player is registered as a professional you can't ask for transfer fees or onward transfer percentage? 

Yes, the GFA regulations makes no provisions for clubs transferring amateur players to another club to demand a transfer fee, let alone have an onward transfer percentage agreement.In other words, when you transfer an amateur player you can only ask for training and development compensation from the club taking him. 

The annoying thing is that they are not obliged to pay you in cash immediately. If you are lucky you might get a few balls and jerseys for sweating to train your boy. This is sad reality of the fate of many lower division clubs in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. 

For the avoidance of doubt, let me explain a few terms here. Who is an amateur player? An amateur player is a player who is playing football just for the love of the game and earns no wages or no other economic or educational benefits from playing football. Such players do not sign contracts with the club they register to play for. 

So clearly, if you just make a card for a player without a contract with the player or with a parent or guardian ( in cases where the player is under 18) he or she is an amateur. An amateur player cannot go on loan but must be released outright when he or she asks to leave or another club requests for his or her services. 

The "onward transfer percentage" is usually a percentage of the transfer fees that accrue to a previous club of a player when the player they released to another club is sold to a third party club. For instance, Manchester City just made a cool £10 million pounds from the transfer of Jaden Sancho from Dortmund to Manchester United because they had an agreement with Dortmund when they released Sancho to Dortmund to get 10% of any onward transfer of the player. 

Therefore, once you did not register your player as a professional, such a player can leave your club for virtually nothing in return when another club wants him. You cannot demand an onward transfer percentage in the event that the said player is transferred to another club. What you can only get is training compensation from the club taking your boy. 

 For the avoidance of doubt, a player does not necessarily need to be paid salary to be registered as a professional. If you agree with the parent to invest in the educational development of the boy/girl (i.e. sending him to school, healthcare, talent training and development etc), you can sign a contract on those terms with the player or his/her parents.Remember that any contract that is more than five years is null and void per GFA/ FIFA regulations. 

Beyond signing the contract, you need to have a full medical examination for the player. Both the medical report and the contract must be uploaded into the FIFA connect system before the GFA IT secretariat will register the player as a professional.

Another advantage for registering your players as professionals is that they cannot go AWOL" and register to play anywhere in the world without honoring the contract you have with them. They will be exposed if they try doing that. 

I must emphasize that the GFA or FIFA does not recognize the so called "Player Managers" in the transfers of players from one club to another. Even in signing contracts, only parents or guardians or certified intermediaries are allowed to negotiate contracts on behalf of players and clubs. 

For certified intermediaries (agents), they are not allowed to demand more than 30% for negotiating transfers and contracts between clubs, locally or internationally. I have seen a lot of them take advantage of poor lower division clubs to take more than 50% for initiating transfers for their players. Some of them are so corrupt that they demand airfares, agent fees etc. from parents, club managers and self-styled player managers, and still demand 60% of the transfer proceeds. 

Now to the main question, "how can lower division clubs make money from player transfers and sales?" 

It is a fact that many grassroot and lower division club managers and coaches produce talents but get virtually nothing in return for their sweat. Many of of our top division clubs and unscrupulous agents have robbed such teams of very good players in return for pittance and gotten richer while the producers of these talents wallow in poverty. 

I will recommend that managers of lower division clubs put all their players on contract if they can. If they cannot put them all on contracts, they must identify their top promising talents and put them on 3-5 year contracts. Once you do this, you are in position to refuse to release a player who has not finished honoring his or her contract or release them on loan or permanently with conditions including demanding an onward transfer fee percentage! 

With an onward transfer fee percentage clause, you or club stand to benefit double from any onward transfer of the players you release to other clubs. This is so because aside the "onward transfer fee percentage" to be paid to you, you are also entitled to proceeds of the 5-10% "training and development compensation" that will be shared between all clubs that a player trained and played for, starting from his or her 13th birthday all the way until his or her 26th birthday. 

What this means is that a lower division club who produced a top talent like Partey or Baba Rahman stands to get training and compensation anytime the player is transferred to another club. Hence, if you are the manager of a juvenile or lower division club whose player is playing abroad and being transferred but you have not benefited from the transfer, kindly write to the GFA Player Status Committee or the GFA IT office and they will help you get your due provided you have evidence to back your claims. 

Essentially, it means that a lower division club can still make money without signing contracts with their players before releasing them. However, the amount you get will be smaller compared to a situation whereby you are earning from both the onward transfer fee percentage and the training and development compensation from the transfer of your boy. 

Therefore, the choice is yours!

 You can either decide to put them on contacts so you do not lose out on direct transfer fees and onward transfer fee percentages

            or 

keep releasing them free to other clubs( who will put an onward transfer percentage on them when releasing them to another club and make more anyway) and pray that they make it to the top so you can get your paltry training and development compensation.


MI NOI TRII!

Written by:

Evans Akangyelewon Atuick 

President/CEO, Wiaga United Fc.