News of transfers and the eventual moving of players from club to club are some of the most exciting facets of football. Unfortunately… things will be changing.
With the summer transfer window just around the corner, there have been so many speculations giving fans goosebumps, but now more than ever, reports of player purchases and sales are more of a fantasy – all because of the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
First it started with the furlough. Football clubs have, like many other businesses, signed up to their respective national schemes, which see employees remain on the payroll with reduced salaries – subsidised by government – while placed on temporary leave.
This scheme only covers 80 percent of an individual’s salary up to £2,500 a month before tax in the United Kingdom. The Spanish government’s furlough scheme is slightly different to that in the UK, with the government offering to cover 70% of an individual’s salary, which is then reduced to 50% after a number of weeks.
Most footballers, however, are not on this scheme, and are still being paid during the coronavirus crisis, but many of them have agreed to take pay cuts or deferrals, while those who play in the lower divisions face an even more uncertain future.
Top-flight clubs were told last week that they will have to give between £300m and £350m back to TV companies even if the 92 games still to be played take place.
Teams have also been informed that they could lose up to £1.5bn when the next TV deals come around. It comes as no surprise that clubs are also trying to calculate how much of the £760m that was paid for the season’s final quarter may be returned to them.
Premier League clubs are facing another major financial blow amid fears the shirt sponsorship bubble has burst. And now clubs towards the lower half of the EPL are under threat of losing substantial financial income from sponsorship deals linked to their match-day and training kits.
The 20 top-flight clubs have projected income of around £708m from match-day revenue this season, and almost a quarter of that is set to be lost as a result of the shutdown. With all these financial woes harping down on Europe’s elites, how real are the transfer speculations now?
Barren Transfer Gossip
It’s no secret that footballers playing in the top-tier leagues earn a very high salary – averaging in the thousands per week. With management having to furlough non-playing staff and cut player salaries, it’s clear that money is a big problem across the board.
Officially, the transfer window in England is set to open on June 10 but its closure is still up in the air. It’s understandable that some players will leave to join other teams when their contract ends, and replace others who themselves have departed.
The issue, however, lies in the payment of transfer fees for players still locked in long-term contracts. Clubs claim that they have monetary woes, but where do the funds for these type of transactions come from – so much for saving money!
Apparently the deal for Saul Niguez to join the Red Devils is pretty much done at a price way below the player’s release clause of £132million. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will also be given the tools to add the three major signings in total this summer. Jadon Sancho sits top of his wishlist, with Jack Grealish, Jude Bellingham and another striker also on Solskjaer’s radar.
All this while Manchester United announce that their debt has risen close to £430 million in their latest financial figures. So how in the world will they afford Saul, Sancho, Grealish, Bellingham or anyone else?
Unless of course these gossips are exactly what they are – Gossips! The only club that can possibly have a cash to splurge at the moment is Newcastle. The Magpies are on the brink of a major takeover by potential buyer Amanda Staveley, who is heading up a Saudi Arabian consortium. And if they are making the transfer news, it makes sense because they can afford it.