What happens if a similar scenario like this previous case involving Rooney and Manchester United occurred between a lower league team and their star player? On most occasions the answer is easy, the player would be snapped up by another team who could afford his wage demands. At least the big clubs can afford to persuade a player to stay by offering more. Many of these teams in the lower leagues cannot afford to offer their players extravagant wage increases considering they are not as financially secured like the top division teams.
Prior to the Bosman ruling, the action taken by the club was quite easy; they could either resign the player or at least receive some compensation for his services. 12 Now a player that a club may have developed over the years could leave for free if he was not happy with what the club were offering him in wages. All of a sudden, rather than money going back to the clubs, most of the money is going to the player who can turn their transfer value into big paydays.
It is so easy for a player to secretly talk to another club expressing their interest in his services. The player could then demand for the interested club to pay not only a large signing on fee but provide a large wage increase based on the money the club was going to save on purchasing the player for free. It is clearly unfair that players and agents are receiving this much power. They should not be able to persuade and bargain with other clubs in accepting their wage demands in return for a free transfer.
On top of all this to protect their asset's football clubs were offering large contracts so their star players would be tied down for the foreseeable future, just in case they did leave on a free transfer. The problem with this was that if a player was on a long contract and his team had been relegated from the top division, the team now held a player who still had a long time on his contract to go and his wages could not be afforded due to relegation. Leeds were a prime example of this situation as they, 'were forced to sell their brightest talents.. at cut-price rates, just to get their salaries off the pay roll.
'13 Additionally from the Bosman decision, the ECJ also ruled that any European club could field any number of European Union players. Previously, European clubs were subject to regulations limiting the number of European 'foreigners' eligible to play in a matchday side. Pre Bosman, 'UEFA regulations decreed that clubs could field only three foreign players plus two assimilated players that had come through their youth system. '14 These 'foreigners' were other European players who were not of the same nationality to that European country they participated in.
Suddenly after the ruling you had football clubs like Belgium's Beveren who were fielding a side that only contained players from the Ivory Coast, all of who had been developed from the club's academy. On Boxing Day 1999, Premiership team Chelsea created history by becoming, 'the first English club to play a league game without a single English player on the pitch'. 15 Did the fans really want to see a side that did not contain any home grown players? I always believed the excitement of football comes from the development of your own locally produced youth.
Prior to the Bosman ruling, the regulations in place relating to the quota of European 'foreigners' allowed available had been, 'imposed by national and international sports federation's for technical and sporting reasons, notably the need to guarantee local training centres an outlet for their players in high level competition. '16 The effect of this decision could be seen primarily by players from France who were now jumping at the opportunity to play in Europe's most profitable leagues and this had a huge consequence on the country's own top football division championship.
The wages in France did not compete very well with those on offering in England, Spain and Italy, so most of France's best players were leaving. 17 Now the market value for a league only featuring a handful of home grown stars was not at all profitable for investors such as television companies. Unfortunately like in any form of work, how can you keep a worker who can earn more at a rival company? Money talks and it was truly showing post the Bosman ruling in France. In conclusion, within this research paper I have tried to explore and explain how the Bosman ruling has affected European football.
It is easy to gather that thanks to the Bosman ruling a shift of power has occurred which has allowed players the freedom that they previously never had. Unfortunately for Jean Bosman he never really felt the effects of his own crusade, but unlike his own contractual situation where football clubs were making a decision on a player's behalf, now the player has the bargaining control.
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