“Financial Fair Play has to be toothless after COVID-19”

· by WFS2017

In the latest edition of #WFSTalks, in partnership with Player LENS, Greg Carey from Goldman Sachs says that the likes of UEFA will have to make Financial Fair Play (FFP) accommodations if football’s transfer market is to be restored to its previous glory.

Carey was speaking alongside Jose Ramon Capdevila (Player LENS), Jordan Gardner (FC Helsingør) and Dan Singer (McKinsey & Company), in a wide-ranging discussion on Football’s transfer market post-COVID.

And Carey, Global Head of Sports Finance at leading global investment firm Goldman Sachs believes FFP regulations should be relaxed in order to stimulate football’s global transfer market back into action.

“The release valve for clubs has always been the transfer market but outside the big clubs with wealthy owners up to, everybody’s a seller in today’s market, no-one’s a buyer and they can’t get the price that they’re looking for,” said Carey in the World Football Summit webinar, delivered in partnership with Player LENS.

“That release valve is a problem and it’ll come back but it’s going to take a while. Financial Fair Play is going to have to be toothless as these clubs for a significant period of time while these clubs ramp up. There’s going to have to be some kind of waiver like we’re seeing in the U.S.”

Chairman and co-owner of FC Helsingor, Gardner also explained how clubs are now having to move away from traditional transfer market strategies and look to the likes of Player LENS in order to recruit players.

Gardner said: “From a recruitment perspective in the player transfer market, everything has changed. The more sophisticated clubs are looking a bit more internally and saying; ‘Instead of going to a new market that’s a little bit more exciting and sexy, let’s do domestic recruitment really well.’

“There’s just not as much money to spend in the transfer market and lots of clubs are looking for players on free transfers, are having to be more sophisticated and having to use more platforms like Payer LENS and having to double down on player analytics.”

Capdevila added that Player LENS – dubbed ‘football’s LinkedIN – have been working on helping clubs all over the world to increase value and revenue in their assets, and that their goal is to be a truly representative platform for the entire global transfer market.

“We were capable of exploring potential financing formulas for clubs and leagues where they were sliding,” Capdevila explained. “Through Player LENS, we’re aiming to become the global connectivity platform. We aim to have all football agents represented and that everybody can maximise the value that they are offering into the market.

“There is an opportunity for clubs to see how they can maximise the revenues on their assets and there is also an opportunity for local players promoted into the first-team this year where in other cases they wouldn’t have had that opportunity.”

The ability for clubs to develop players – and in turn increase the value of their assets – from within was something Singer firmly agreed with as a solution to the ongoing financial impact of coronavirus on the transfer market.

“There’s essentially two ways you can create value; one, you can spend cash to acquire players who have more market value and then the other is that you can develop the players in three ways,” he said. “You can literally develop players through coaching, you can integrate youth players into the senior club or you can be great at trading. What we found was that value creation through developing players was twice as much as the value created in just investing euros in new players.”

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