In South America and certain countries in Europe, the trade of human beings for large sums of money is a practice widely accepted as normal. This isn’t the slave trade, prostitution or anything naughty like that … this is the open exchange of football players between clubs.
Question is, do you think it’s wrong? Are we missing a trick in the Premiership by not being able to indulge in the practice, or is the idea morally abhorrent and a bullet well dodged?
The reason the topic has reared it’s ugly head again is because Peter Kenyon, ex-United and Chelsea MD, is heading up a new venture with the Quality Sports Investments LP Fund. They are requesting £15million from 15 wealthy investors to help kick start a company that specialises in seeking out the best talent from around the world with the long term goal of selling the players on to the top European clubs to make some heady returns.
The process can work in two ways:
1) An investment group helps a club in economic trouble purchase a player. They share the risk and buy half of the player. The investment firm might also help take care of some of the training and accomodation costs as well.
2) The player might deal directly with the investment firm which then loans the said footballer out to clubs around the world in return for a fee in the hope that one day the player will be bought out right for a fee
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The latter is the reason West Ham landed themselves in such bother. There were contract irregularities that the Hammers didn’t disclose and they were subsequently fined a huge amount of money.
So what is the big problem with 3rd Party ownership?
Some say that the sale of human beings is
tantamount to human trafficking. One highly placed official at the FA said,
“An unedifying trade in young people that rips the heart out of clubs which try to develop players”
Personally, I’m not quite sure what the problem is here? For me, the beef with third party ownership seems to come from the fact that the money these clubs pay for the players
seeps out of the game. If that’s not the case, what is the problem? Whether a player is
owned by a club or an investment firm, at the heart of it, there is still a human being traded for a massive fee.
If anything, super agents like Pini Zahavi and Kia Joorabchian should be commended for their foresight and ability to highlight the best talent in the game. They’re essentially sharing the risk of purchasing a player with the other party. If that enables players like Carlos Tevez to ply their trade at clubs like Corinthians, West Ham and United, then surely it’s a good thing?
If through that nuturing process, the said player becomes good enough to secure a move to
the greatest league in the world, then you’d have to say the agent deserves every penny they earn?
They did the research, they took the risk, they deserve the reward.
Is the Premiership stifling its ability to bring in the best
players from South America and certain parts of Europe? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if clubs like West Ham, Everton and Bolton could share the cost of great young talent which could in turn push them onto higher levels of achievement?
My normal reaction to anything Peter Kenyon is doing is one of disgust, however, I’m finding it hard to have anything but admiration for the idea. Comparing trafficking footballers to real human trafficking
shows how totally out of touch people within footballing realms are.
Surely we should be encouraging anything that improves the quality of the league and increases the entertainment for the fans? Personally, I don’t have a problem with the practice as long as the players are treated well, trained to the highest standard possible and given the very best chance at succeeding in the game which we all love so dearly.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments, I’m off to sell my girlfriend to Gordon Ramsey, she makes a mean beans
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