Transfer (association football)

Sports action in which a player moves between clubs / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In professional football, a transfer is the action taken whenever a player under contract moves between clubs. It refers to the transferring of a player's registration from one association football club to another. In general, the players can only be transferred during a transfer window and according to the rules set by a governing body (fulfilling the requirements of FIFA, continental and national bodies regulating the purchasing and selling clubs). A negotiated transfer fee is agreed financial compensation paid from an interested club, to the club that possesses the player's exclusive contracted playing rights.[1] When a player moves from one club to another, their old contract is terminated whilst the player and their new destination club will both negotiate on new contract terms (or have earlier mutually agreed on the personal terms). As such, the transfer fee functions as financial compensation (paid to the club which possesses the existing playing rights) for the early mutually agreed termination of the contract of a professional football player. Transfer fees are contingent on the player’s current football abilities, future potential, duration of the existing contract, amount of future salary owed (within the remaining duration of the existing contract) and the willingness of clubs to agree on an economic equilibrium through supply and demand.

Neymar is the most expensive player in the history of association football, as officially announced by the clubs involved in his 2017 transfer.

A transfer in Association Football differs significantly to a trade in American, Canadian, and Australian sports, where teams essentially trade existing player contracts. However, cash or contract obligation can be used instead of or with a player such as Major League Baseball and the National Football League to alleviate salary cap and other financial concerns. In some uncommon cases, however, transfers can function in a similar manner to player trades, as teams can offer another player on their squad as part of the compensation in the form of swap deals, in order to lower the financial compensation of the transfer fee.

According to FIFA, from January to September 2018 there were 15,049 international transfers of male players with fees totalling US$7.1 billion, and 577 international transfers of female players for US$493,235.[2]

Most transfer activity is conducted during the European summer transfer window (European pre-season window), that overlaps in between 1 July and 31 August of any given year (both dates inclusive), with slight variations of both the start date and end date, for each respective domestic league.[3] Prominent transfers also occur during the European winter transfer window of 1–31 January.[3] Most notably, the transfer deadline dates of the transfer windows, are solely reliant upon the country jurisdiction of the purchasing club, in order to successfully perform the registration of newly transferred players (football clubs worldwide may agree to sell the playing rights of any contracted player at any time to another club whose country's transfer window is still open, in addition free agents may be signed at any time outside the prescribed transfer windows).[3]