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The ultimate solution to footballers contracts.


Do you think contracts should be changed to give the club more protection?  

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  1. 1. Do you think contracts should be changed to give the club more protection?

    • No
    • Yes

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I've been thinking lately about the 'contracts' that the players are in, and to me, they don't hold much weight.

Surely when you sign a contract for however long of a period, you must be willing to deal with the situations that come up I.e. Being on the bench if you are not good enough, getting injured, losing your place in the first 11/16 etc etc.

I'm also confused as to who the contract protects. Is it the clubs? So they can make money from transfers if they want to sell the players, or is it to stop other clubs approaching that player whilst in a contract?

Or do they protect the players? So for the next 3/4/5 years, they have a definite salary each week?

Then it came to my attention that players with 2 years on their contracts can still kick up a fuss about wanting to move clubs (Downing among others)

Surely part of the contract says that they cannot speak about leaving, or getting their agents to do the same?

So my solution would be:

There are no transfers which involve money.

Clubs can only offer contracts to players during the summer but the current club has to offer them a contract first, if the player does not want the contract offered, he is open to other contracts. Then its the players choice where he wants to play, if he gets more than one offer.

Contracts can only be 1 year long, until you get to 30, in which case they can be 2 years long. I say that for over 30s because as retirement beckons, they would probably need a couple of years to sort out finances for the future, especially in lower leagues where players are let go without much notice and find it hard to find clubs.

Under 23's' contracts would need to be capped. Alternatively, they could not be sold until they are 24. This gives the clubs who trained them and invested money into growing that player a good few years of service.

Under no circumstances, should clubs mention another clubs players' name with regards to transfers. Until the window opens, all negotiating is closed. Any one found guilty of tapping up would be punished with a point deduction.

These are just a few of my ideas. I, like a few others on here, get tired of reading the same old shit (which seems to get more shit year on year) in the papers so they can sell the bloody things. I also think its fair on the clubs. Without transfer fees, no club would put themselves in economical troubles, you would get no Lutons, Leeds' etc unless they are absolutely ridiculous with wages.

I too think its fair on clubs who produce players in their youth setups as they get service from the player without them getting done over when top 4 comes along.

TLDR; I think contracts are shit and you should think of your own suggestions to make them more rigid.

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Are their still countries which allow people to sign their lives away? Certainly in England and Wales, you are legally allowed to give notice on an employment contract and you cannot sign away your stimulatory rights.

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You're basically arguing for the North American model... how much of the differences between the North American and European structures is attributable to the different models for contracting and transferring players as opposed to franchising vs. league pyramiding is an interesting question.

The system in Major League Baseball (which can largely be viewed as paradigmatic of the North American model while English league football is paradigmatic of the European model (despite MLB's being an inspiration for MacGregor)) is pretty much explained by this wiki article:

Each Major League Baseball team maintains both a 25-man roster and a 40-man roster of players. Players on the 25-man roster are eligible to play in official major league games throughout the season. The 40-man roster includes the players on the 25-man roster plus as many as 15 players who are either on the team's 15-day disabled list (see below) or who are in the team's minor league system. From September 1 through the end of the regular season, any player on the 40-man roster (also referred to as the "expanded roster") is eligible to play in an official regular season game. Many young players make their Major League debuts in this way, as "September call-ups."

To be eligible for a team’s playoff roster a player must be on any of the following: (a) the 25 man active roster, (B) the disabled list, © the bereavement list, or (d) the suspended list as of August 31 at midnight. The only exception is that a player on the 60-day disabled list may be replaced by another player from the team's 40-man roster (as of August 31) who plays the same position (i.e. position player for position player, or pitcher for pitcher), with the approval of the commissioner of baseball.

The squad size limits are generally effective.

Teams may trade only players currently under contract, except those players who have been drafted in the last year. From the end of the previous World Series through July, trades between two or more major league teams may freely occur at any time. In August, trades may only be made after all players in the trade clear waivers or are not on 40-man rosters. Players acquired after August 31 are ineligible for the postseason roster unless they replace an injured player. Unlike in the NFL, NHL and the NBA, teams may not trade draft choices, but may purchase the rights to Rule 5 Draft Picks.

The August 31 rule was waived in 1945 for returning servicemen. Over the years, there have been several notable cases where a player acquired after the August 31 deadline made a significant contribution to a playoff-contending team but was ineligible for the postseason; for example, Pedro Ramos with the 1964 New York Yankees and Sparky Lyle with the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies.

If a player has been on an active major league roster for ten full seasons and on one team for the last five, he may not be traded to another team without his consent (known as the 10 & 5 rule). Additionally, some players negotiate to have no-trade clauses in their contracts that have the same effect.

In some trades, one of the components is a "player to be named later" which usually turns out to be a minor league player. The unnamed player is included as part of a trade when the teams cannot immediately agree on a specific player or when the player is not yet eligible to be traded. In these cases, the player in question must be named within six months. Cash or other considerations may be exchanged in lieu of the player to be named later. For example, during the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, the Minnesota Twins traded Dave Winfield to the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline. Among the conditions of the trade were that if the Indians played no more games in 1994, "Indians general manager John Hart must write a check for $100 made out to the Minnesota Twins and take Twins general manager Andy MacPhail out to dinner."

In such a trade, the terms of the contract do not generally change, merely which club is paying the terms. So when Villa sell A Young to Man Utd, Man Utd take over paying the same wages to Young.

Any player under contract may be placed on waivers ("waived") at any time. After MLB's July 31 trade deadline and through to the end of the season, however, a team must place a player on waivers if that player is to be eligible to be traded.

If a player is waived, any team may claim him. If more than one team claims the player from waivers, the team with the weakest record in the player's league gets preference. If no team in the player's league claims him, the claiming team with the weakest record in the other league gets preference. In the first month of the season, preference is determined using the previous year's standings.

If a team claims a player off waivers and has a viable claim as described above, his current team (the "waiving team") may choose one of the following options:

* arrange a trade with the claiming team for that player within two business days of the claim; or

* rescind the request and keep the player on its major league roster, effectively canceling the waiver; or

* do nothing and allow the claiming team to assume the player's existing contract, pay the waiving team a waiver fee, and place the player on its active major league roster.

If a player is claimed and the waiving team exercises its rescission option, the waiving team may not use the option again for that player in that season. If no team claims a player off waivers after three business days, the player has cleared waivers and may be assigned to a minor league team, traded (to any team), or released outright.

The waiver "wire" is a secret within the personnel of the Major League Baseball clubs; no announcement of a waiver is made until a transaction actually occurs. Many players are often quietly waived during the August "waiver-required" trading period to gauge trade interest in a particular player. Usually, when the player is claimed, the waiving team will rescind the waiver to avoid losing the player unless a trade can be worked out with the claiming team.

I'll ignore the bit about transactions with minor league/farm/feeder clubs...

If a major league player cannot play because of a medical condition, he may be placed on the 15-day disabled list (DL). This removes the player from the 25-man roster, freeing up a space, but he is ineligible to play for at least 15 consecutive days. Players on the 15-day disabled list are still a part of the 40-man roster. An injured player may also be placed on the 60-day disabled list to remove the player from the 40-man roster as well, with the condition of being ineligible to play for 60 consecutive days.

Players placed on the 15-day disabled list may be moved to the 60-day list at any time, but not vice versa. Players may be placed on either disabled list retroactively for a maximum of 10 inactive days and may remain on either list for as long as required to recover. During this 10 day period, a player status is said to be day-to-day, indicating that the team is in the process of deciding if the player must be placed on either DL or if he is healthy enough to return to active service. Injured players may not be traded without permission of the Commissioner nor may they be optioned to the minors, though they may be assigned to a minor league club for rehabilitation for a limited amount of time (30 days for pitchers, 20 for non-pitchers).

In 2011, a 7-day disabled list was added specifically for players who have been concussed. This was instituted to allow players who may recover from their concussions quickly to be removed from the active roster and replaced for a shorter period of time than 15 days. If the player is still suffering from concussion symptoms at the 15-day mark, they are automatically transferred to the 15-day DL. Both the brain injury and the player's recovery need to be verified by team and league doctors; the list is not intended for non-concussion injuries.

The bereavement list may be used when a player finds it necessary to leave the team to attend to a serious illness or death in his (or his spouse's) immediate family. A player placed on the bereavement list must miss a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven games. The team can use another player from its 40-man roster to replace a player on the bereavement list.

Rule 5 draft omitted

If a player is drafted and is offered a contract by his drafting team (or any team to which he is traded) each year, he may not become a free agent until:

* His contract has expired with at least six years of service time on a major league 25-man roster or disabled list, OR

* His contract has expired with less than six years of service time, but is not tendered a contract or salary arbitration offer (if eligible) by the tender deadline (usually in the second week of December). Such players become non-tender free agents.

A player with less than six years of service time is eligible for salary arbitration if he:

1. is without a contract for the next season, AND

2. has been tendered a contract offer by his current team by the tender deadline, AND

3. cannot agree with his current team on a new contract, AND

4. meets one of the conditions below:

* has been on a major league roster or disabled list for at least three years, OR

* has at least two years of major league service but less than three, AND is among the top 17 percent for cumulative playing time in the majors in this class of players, AND was on an active major-league roster for at least 86 days in the previous season.

The 4.2 example of arbitration eligibility above is called the "Super Two" exception, in which a player will have an extra year of arbitration eligibility. Notable recent "Super Two" players include Ryan Howard and Tim Lincecum.

Following the salary arbitration process, the player and the team both submit a salary offer for a new contract. The arbitrator chooses one number or the other, based on which offer is closest to the salaries of players with similar ability and service time.

Service time, for purposes of salary arbitration and free agency, is 172 days; a season is 182 days long.

Players eligible for neither free agency nor salary arbitration are very seldom offered contracts for much more than the league minimum salary, as the player has no recourse to try to obtain a better salary elsewhere. For this reason, in the first three major league years of their careers (except for the "Super Two" exception above), it is standard practice for players to accept comparatively low salaries even when their performance is stellar. Occasionally, a team may wish to sign a player in his second or third year to a long-term contract, and the resulting negotiations can involve salaries significantly higher than minimum. A recent example of this would be the contract Ryan Braun signed barely a year into his major league career, which will last until 2015.

A team does not have to offer a contract to a player not eligible for free agency if his contract has expired, regardless of service time. If the player is not tendered a contract offer by the tender deadline (usually in the second week of December), the player becomes a non-tender free agent.

Effectively for the first 2-4 years of their top-level career, players are paid a comparative pittance ($500k a year, commonly). Then for the remainder of their first six years, they're still generally paid below-market wages. If they're good enough to last six years, then they'll start raking it in. You see this in the Red Sox' payroll: there are a number of examples there of players making not that much who are among the top contributors to the team's success.

As a consequence of the equivalent to the Bosman ruling, for a short while baseball contracts longer than a year were outlawed. However the players' union and the clubs came to the agreement that led to the free agency system outlined above: the clubs wanted the ability to plan ahead while the restrictions would limit the supply of free agents and thus drive up wages.

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Are their still countries which allow people to sign their lives away? Certainly in England and Wales, you are legally allowed to give notice on an employment contract and you cannot sign away your stimulatory rights.

And a big +1 to this post.

We have only ended up with the current system because in 1995 the European court ruled in favour of Jean Marc Bosman. Footballers get the same rights to move between jobs as the rest of us do. Any new system introduced would be tested in the courts, especially if it is one that reduces what players might earn.

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Is the bosman when a player can decide to leave with 12 or 6 months on his contract? Or is it they can buy the remaining 2 years of their contracts?

Levi, under the MLB model, are there any rules about teams names dropping potential trades? I'm thinking of Harry Redknapp over here who commonly uses the media to turn players heads. Or do MLB have a rule?

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Levi, under the MLB model, are there any rules about teams names dropping potential trades? I'm thinking of Harry Redknapp over here who commonly uses the media to turn players heads. Or do MLB have a rule?

Rule 3G"]

To preserve discipline and competition, and to prevent the enticement of players, coaches, managers and umpires, there shall be no negotiations or dealings respecting employment, either present or prospective, between any player, coach or manager and any club other than the club with which he is under contract or acceptance of terms, or by which he is reserved, or which has the player on its Negotiation List, or between any umpire and any league other than the league with which he is under contract or acceptance of terms, unless the club or league with which he is connected shall have, in writing, expressly authorized such negotiations or dealings prior to their commencement.

The NFL's rule is a bit stricter

No club, nor any person employed by or otherwise affiliated with a club, is permitted to tamper with a player who is under contract to or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by another club. ...

The following chain of events is enumerated here as one example of a violation of the policy against tampering with another club's players:

1. A club's representative, or a third-party intermediary of that club (Club A), is involved in a private meeting or conversation with a player (or his representative) who is under contract to, or whose negotiating rights are held by, another club (Club B); and

2. The League obtains substantiation that after or during the above contact with the player, Club A has stated, publicly or privately, its interest in obtaining his services (see 'Public/Private Statements' below); and

3. Contract problems or other disputes subsequently arise between the player and Club B (for example, the player’s failure to report on time to Club B).

In circumstances like those of the example above, tampering will be found even in the absence of a demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship between the player’s contract problems and his prior involvement with the other club. In other words, a club will not be able to defend a tampering charge in these circumstances by asserting that its private contact with a player (or the player’s representative) did not involve any expression of interest in the player or was not related in any way to the player’s subsequent contract problem with his club.

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Seriously, teams invest huge amounts of their turnover on players, I know there are rules, otherwise tapping up would be acceptable.

But how can Harry openly talk about players in the papers or in interviews?

How can agents who represent players on long/short term contracts get in touch with other clubs trying to gain interest??

When will the penny drop?!!

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