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Aussie Player Exodus

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
Transfer fees don't allow clubs to keep players they develop.

It just allows those clubs to profit from it.

How do transfer fees do anything except move all the talent to the wealthiest teams within the wealthiest leagues in the world?
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
Transfer fees don't allow clubs to keep players they develop.

It just allows those clubs to profit from it.

How do transfer fees do anything except move all the talent to the wealthiest teams within the wealthiest leagues in the world?

Surely that's going to happen anyway? Transfer fees at least allow the poorer originating clubs to support themselves financially. What's the alternative, open slather?
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
Yep. Except when you then factor in the ARU restriction on the number of international players a SuperRugby Club can have.

Not saying either is wrong. Just saying that there are restrictions on how many internationally 'developed' players can play for and Aussie club, but there are few or more relaxed restrictions in other countries.

I meant more in terms that players are currently going to Europe earlier in their career and potentially coming back as a better player. Tala Gray, Luke Burgess, Matt Carraro, and Dane Haylett-Petty are all players who have furthered their careers overseas and returned this year. Only Burgess is potentially an inferior player to when he left.

No, the transfer fee is paid to the last club that had said player, regardless if he is off contract. In Pyle's instance, the Rebels would be paid a sum as they have invested well over a hundred thousand dollars developing him.

Regarding clubs selling players whilst still under contract. If the player wants to stay, then the club can't force him to go. He's signed a contract with them for said period. In the end the same applies, the Player only goes where he wants to go.

The only change is that clubs get rewarded for producing top flight rugby players instead of the Timani, Pyle: "thanks for the experience, ciao"

That is not true in most leagues. If a player is off contract, they generally become a free agent and there is no transfer fee payable. A club has to have a contract over a player in order to be able to demand a transfer fee.

Hugh Pyle still had time to run on his contract so if there was a transfer fee payable, the Rebels would receive it.

You are correct that if a player is under contract and doesn't want to leave they don't have to go anywhere, but almost always they come to a mutually agreeable decision because there aren't many professional sportsmen who are willing to continue training with a club that doesn't want them and gives them zero opportunity to play.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
Surely that's going to happen anyway? Transfer fees at least allow the poorer originating clubs to support themselves financially. What's the alternative, open slather?

Currently Australian teams have an incentive to keep their players because there is no incentive in losing them overseas.

If you bring in transfer fees there becomes a big incentive for a team to encourage their best players to go overseas because the team will receive a financial reward.

Currently players look overseas for more money and a different life experience.

If this sort of system was brought in in Australia it would certainly encourage more private ownership because as one of the leading producers of world class rugby players, there would be profit to be made by developing players and sending them overseas.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
I disagree Braveheart, teams will still want to retain their best players..

Moreso, if a team like the Rebels were able to trade someone like James O'Connor, that money is then available to reinvest into retaining other players..
 

suckerforred

Chilla Wilson (44)
So a question Braveheart, is the transfer fee proportionate to the length of time that a player has been at the current club? For example - 1 yr = $100K, 5 yrs = $500K, since junior = $1M. (Arbutray figures for example only.)

Just interested in how it would work.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
So a question Braveheart, is the transfer fee proportionate to the length of time that a player has been at the current club? For example - 1 yr = $100K, 5 yrs = $500K, since junior = $1M. (Arbutray figures for example only.)

Just interested in how it would work.

If you look at European soccer, the transfer fee is unrelated to the length of time a player has been at a club. It is purely based on what the two clubs agree on.

If the player was a junior at that club they receive a solidarity contribution based on the age the junior started at the club.

I really think the introduction of transfer fees would lead to more high profile Australian players going overseas.

Does anyone who actually follows EPL or other European football think that a transfer fee system would benefit rugby in Australia? I really don't. For starters you would have to get rid of the salary cap and accept that some clubs will thrive and others will forever be terrible.

I also can't see how it could work in a country where the vast majority of the players originate in 2 of the 5 locations we have teams.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
To be honest, i don't see how a football team like Real Milan is presently any different to a team like RC Toulon... If they(Toulon) want a player, they sign him and none of that money is reinvested back into the team which developed the player... If Toulon are going to sign every player that they want, wouldn't it be of benefit to the clubs that they were departing from that they received a transfer fee at least.

I don't see why you would need to get rid of the salary cap, a players salary whilst typically proportionate to the transfer fee it isn't directly linked. The A-League maintains a salary cap whilst also paying and receiving transfer fees.

I don't think the fees should be linked to where the player started playing, that would be pointless and doesn't really make sense to me. The fee is paid directly to whichever club the player is signed to at the time, if he is a free agent then no fee is paid, however if he is still under contract then a transfer fee must be negotiated.
 

Bardon

Peter Fenwicke (45)
In the biggest market for soccer (Europe) due to the Bosman ruling there's no transfer fee involved when players are off contract. The only exception I know of is in England & Scotland where players moving domestically can have a tribunal set a fee. Also players can sign a pre-agreement with another club when they have less than 6 months on their contract.

I'm not sure how much good transfer fees would do for poorer clubs in Rugby. As fees have gone up the disparity between the haves and have-nots has increased.

The majority of big transfer fees are between 2 elite clubs. The fees paid to those outside Europe's elite are significantly less. The richest clubs use a variety of tactics to ensure that fees paid to smaller clubs are as low as possible.

These include making it known the player is a target in the hope the player will request a transfer. Even if it's not granted once they unsettle the player enough it's so much easier to sign him at a lower fee.

Also the scouting networks of top soccer clubs mean that most of the talented players from around the world are attached to top clubs before they are legally allowed to sign professional contracts. If a player is undiscovered before they are around 14 the chances of making it are very slim.

This isn't a future I want for Rugby. Transfer fees won't significantly discourage players from moving teams in rugby compared to the present system as it's very rare for a player to change clubs while he's under contract.

I really don't think copying soccer is the way to go on this. Maybe rugby can come up with a better way of compensating teams for developing players that doesn't end up with all the money and best players being concentrated at the top of the game.

If Rugby does introduce a transfer system I hope the IRB has the foresight to introduce a levy based of the fee, the proceeds of which would them be spent on developing the game.
 

swingpass

Greg Davis (50)
on the rugby club last night one of the panel let slip Kane Douglas going OS also at the end of this year. any truth ?
 

louie

Desmond Connor (43)
Does anyone who actually follows EPL or other European football think that a transfer fee system would benefit rugby in Australia? I really don't. For starters you would have to get rid of the salary cap and accept that some clubs will thrive and others will forever be terrible.


I follow all European football very closely and think it would work fantastically for Rugby. Clubs in European football have made a lot of money through transfers dealings, paying of stadiums/world class training centers with the profits.

A hypothetical example..... When Mat Giteau was in his prime (good days) there has lots of rumors of french coming in with a massive offer of around $10mil contract for him. Now if a club are willing to offer money like that for a player their also more liking to be in a position where they can offer a transfer fee as well.

When SBW walked out of the Bulldogs the club offered cash to stop it going to court, and when Jake White left he paid some cash to get out of his contract (from my understanding it was bit more then just compensation money) so this type of thing is already happening.

Why would a transfer system like in football (not soccer) be beneficial for Aus Rugby?

At the moment we have players leaving with nothing to benefit to the system that developed their talent. Aus rugby has money problems and this could help in a huge way. All the talent is leaving and nothing is coming back in.

This is a huge problem.

If Kane Douglas does leave the tahs the tahs get nothing. If a transfer system was in place the tahs could have some cash in the bank to develop/pay his replacement. The money that pays his wage could pay for his replacement but doesn't pay for the time/resources that went into developing him.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I think Bardon's post above is spot on.

The big transfer deals generally happen between the big clubs.

Most clubs are privately owned and the bigger deals to smaller clubs often end up in the owner's pocket rather than being spent on recruiting new players.

European football have the most uneven leagues in terms of the gap between the best teams and the rest than in any sport I can think of.

Rich clubs have a large volume of the best players in the world and earn huge money from merchandise sales etc. The rest of the clubs rely on a share of the broadcast revenue for a lot of their funding.

I just don't see this achieving what people think it will achieve which is to pour money into the Australian franchises.
 

louie

Desmond Connor (43)
I just don't see this achieving what people think it will achieve which is to pour money into the Australian franchises.

it wouldn't pour huge money in, but in some cases it would help.

The ARU would start to offer longer contracts. A large % of football contracts are 4-5 years sometimes longer.

The A-League has benefited from being apart of the transfer system. In the capital driven world Rugby is apart of it's very naive to ignore any way of making money.
 

fatprop

Jason Little (69)
Staff member
Transfers fees usually happen now in other sports because players are on longer contracts. The transfer being in essence buying the right for the balance of that contract.

After the contract is finished, they become free agents, as the Bosman ruling in the EU said a transfer fee after a contract was finished "placed a restriction on the free movement of workers"

Now we get to rugby, rugby players finish their shorter contracts (2-3 years), then they sign a new one

It would take clubs and the ARU being prepared to sign players to longer contracts, best of luck there, the ARU wants shorter contracts
 

Bardon

Peter Fenwicke (45)
The type of transfer system you're talking about in European football relates to players who are still under contract. Players at the end of their contract are free transfers and no fee is involved (with few exceptions). Also players are allowed to open negotiations prior when they have less than 6 months left on their contract.

The two main results of the introduction of a transfer system for Aussie Rugby are likely to be:

1) Players with the ambition of playing in Europe will likely sign shorter term contracts to ensure that they can move on free transfers.

2) In cases where players, with more than 1 year left on a contract, signal their intention to move at the end of their current contract teams will be tempted to cash in on the player and sell him for a fee rather than let them go for free. This would result in some players moving sooner than they would under the current system.

Other things to consider with the transfer system currently in place in football are:

1) The vast majority of large transfer fees are paid by one European club to another. Players from outside Europe generally arrive as youngsters or are signed well before their peak. Messi was sign by Barcelona for the price of his medical bills for treatment of a growth defect.

2) Most top football clubs don't make a profit in the transfer market. The clubs that do make transfer profits are generally selling their best players and recruiting players of a lower standard as replacements. Looking at the fate of teams outside the top 8 in the English Premiership would indicate that this is not sustainable in the long term.

3) Transfers will introduce additional costs to clubs including signing on fees for players and fees for agents. These would apply to players moving between Aus teams and returning from Europe and Japan where a transfer fee was paid.

4) The majority of income for European football clubs comes from TV rights and not transfers or gate receipts. Most clubs don't make enough through the gate to cover their wage bill.

In order to sustain their TV income teams have to be successful (For top clubs that Champions League qualification) for others it's staying in the top league.

This has led to the European game hoovering up all the talented players from the rest of the world. This would likely also happen in Rugby also, increasing the drain from SANZAR countries.

5) Outside of the top sides, many of whom are funded by sugar daddies or round about by local government, teams are carrying massive debts with many just a couple of poor seasons away from going to the wall.

Look at the examples of Leeds Utd who's desire to compete with the big boys led to the clubs bankruptcy. Or Portsmouth who went to the wall despite winning a major trophy in the FA Cup.

Financially professional football in England is crumbling from the bottom up. The smaller clubs aren't making huge profits from transfer fees. They're hoping for a half decent offer for their best player in order to keep the wolf from the door for another while.

I absolutely agree that it's unfair that teams aren't compensated for the development they put into a player. But a transfer system like in football would just increase the advantage of having more money while creating a need for those with the money to do whatever it takes to make sure they keep that financial power.

To begin with some of the big French and English clubs may pay top dollar for the best S15 players at their prime. But eventually they would look to sign players well before their peak and if football is the template before they play in Super Rugby at all.

In the future many Aus, NZ or SA Rugby players may be transfered for world record but it's likely the fee will be paid by one Eng/Fra club to another Eng/Fra club.

If rugby does decide to go down the transfer system route I hope they take a very close look at the football model as it operates in Europe and learn from their mistakes to have a more equitable system.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
The ARU would start to offer longer contracts. A large % of football contracts are 4-5 years sometimes longer.

The ARU offering longer contracts in the past was one of the most criticised things they did.

We had multiple Wallabies on long contracts who were either completely crocked or were no longer deserving of being in the team.

Here's some quotes from a recent article about transfers in the A League.

foxsports.com.au said:
Statistics show that 37 players moved, planned to move, or had a move pending, either to or from an A-League outfit during the month of January. In a competition of only ten clubs, with rosters limited to 23, that's nearly 15 per cent of the entire playing staff on the move, in just thirty one days.

But whichever way you slice it, there's no doubt the month of January is a disruptive one for clubs, especially with Asian clubs circling, dangling larger wages as bait.

Then, there's the thorny issue of transfer fees.
Central Coast Mariners, undoubtedly the club which has suffered the most, received just $210,000 for the sale of Trent Sainsbury - one of Australia's hottest young properties - to Dutch club PEC Zwolle. Veteran Daniel McBreen, last years golden boot winner, was allowed to move to Shanghai East Asia for free.


The Mariners starting eleven against Roar on Sunday contained only three players who began last years Grand Final - Josh Rose, John Hutchinson and Mile Sterjovski.
The rest (with the exception of the retired Patrick Zwaanswijk), have moved on for a net return of just $450,000. Throw in Tom Rogic, who left for Celtic halfway through the season, and it's around $1million.
Where else in the world could you transfer four full internationals, one who probably soon will be (Sainsbury), plus a golden boot winner for that sort of money?


Perhaps it is no surprise then, that the net spend on transfer fees for all ten A-League clubs during the window, was...zero.
Contrast that to the $1.4 billion spent by English Premier League clubs since the start of the season, and you get some idea of the chasm that exists between here and there.

Let's also remember that more players are starting to come back from Europe as perhaps a reflection of players going over there earlier in their careers rather than at the end as was previously the case.

If you brought in a transfer fee system, the only players we would ever get back form Europe are the discards that nobody wants because Australian clubs wouldn't be able to afford transfer fees.
 

Bardon

Peter Fenwicke (45)
Also forgot to mention that in football agents make more money when a transfer fee is involved so it's in their interests to engineer a move for players on their books when the opportunity arises. They can't make every player move but they can sway a player who's not sure what to do.

In Rugby this would result in agents actively touting Super Rugby players to European clubs.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I think the most poignant aspect of the transfer system that Bardon mentioned is that for everyone outside of the biggest clubs, it revolves around trying to sell your best player or players to try and keep the club financial.

Look through some of the English football in recent years for those outside the top clubs:
Tottenham sells their best player Gareth Bale
Newcastle sells their best player Andy Carroll

I just can't see any evidence to suggest that transfer fees do anything to help the poorer clubs. They are constantly on a treadmill of trying to develop cheap players to sell just to keep their club afloat.

Is that we want in Australian rugby?

Maybe we'll see a Toulon Rugby Academy in Sydney that poaches all the promising juniors from the age of 12 and then plucks the best of them to move to Europe as teenagers? (there is one of these for AC Milan in Sydney).

If we did this, we'd also have to open up the Wallabies to foreign players which would only increase the drain from Australian clubs.
 

louie

Desmond Connor (43)
The ARU offering longer contracts in the past was one of the most criticised things they did.

We had multiple Wallabies on long contracts who were either completely crocked or were no longer deserving of being in the team.

This is a simple fix. The ARU should stop offering contracts. You shouldn't have a contract to play for your country. It's stupid. Play them in match fees and nothing more. Most sports don't do it and stupid that the ARU does.

The A-League is one of the worst leagues in the world. I was talking to a prominent English journalist who was out here recently and asked in what he thought of the A-League and his reply was "it's like league 2 but with less running." League 2 being the lowest professional league in England (about 90 odd teams from the top). Too get a million dollars for half that squad is a correct valuation. It is money rather then nothing.

1) The vast majority of large transfer fees are paid by one European club to another. Players from outside Europe generally arrive as youngsters or are signed well before their peak. Messi was sign by Barcelona for the price of his medical bills for treatment of a growth defect.
Maybe we'll see a Toulon Rugby Academy in Sydney that poaches all the promising juniors from the age of 12 and then plucks the best of them to move to Europe as teenagers? (there is one of these for AC Milan in Sydney).

The Messi situation will never happen again. Barcelona have a transfer ban imposed by FIFA due to breaking under age laws. You can't sign players from outside the EU under the age of 18. We'll see less and less of this type of situation happening.

2) Most top football clubs don't make a profit in the transfer market. The clubs that do make transfer profits are generally selling their best players and recruiting players of a lower standard as replacements. Looking at the fate of teams outside the top 8 in the English Premiership would indicate that this is not sustainable in the long term.


It's not about profit it's about sustainability, rarely any team in any sport is profitable, only players, coaches/managers or agent. Big clubs have used the transfer system to help them process/sustain.

Manchester United - Selling Ronaldo keep the team balance the books and sustain a high level for future years (showing signs of falling are appearing now). Even being the most commercially successful side in the world with all the money TV revenue can provide the still have $$ problems.


Spurs - Sold Bale for record fee, managed to buy half a new team (would have been more of a success if they brought the players they where recommended to buy but didn't), But kept them close to the top of the league. If there wasn't a system in place for Bale to leave midway through his contract, they wouldn't have had him for as long and been left with nothing.

Arsenal - who managed to pay off a huge % of their 60k stadium through smart transfers (buy young players for cheap, turning into professionals and making a massive profit. Biggest being Cesc Fabregas who was brought for next to nothing and sold for 40mil. They did this will about 8 players, turning over huge profit. Arsenal are considered to be the best club in the world when it comes to business. One of the only clubs that consistently turn profit. Recently brought one of the best players in the world, Ozil.

Newcastle - Sold Andy Carroll to Liverpool for $36mil. Brought a 5-6 players with the profits and the qualified for the Europa League.

Southampton - Have a fantastic youth system. Have developed the likes of Bale, Walcott , Chamberlin, Oxlade-chamberlain to bigger clubs for fees. This has helped them get promoted to the Premier League, where they get a lot of TV money helping them become more stable. The transfer modal has been very helpful to them.



Selling there players helped them to keep the club going to move into a more profitable position.
 
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