The Agent - A Transfer Window I won't forget
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
What is the transfer window like for a player agent? The last time we heard from The Agent, he had a very challenging month ahead of him. How did it turn out? Today on the blog The Agent tells us.
Read The Agent's first post here - Welcome to the Transfer Window
Very exhausted. I am now sitting on a plane – destination Spain, La Manga. I’m going there for 5 days to network with clubs and players and to watch some football. It’s been a rough past month. I've spent each day of the past week trying to get my rhythm back, getting up to date on what's happening in the world beyond football. And last but not least, drinking my brains out. I know it sounds a bit alcoholic, but over the last 7 days I've been drinking like a teenage boy who has just had his first taste of beer. The perfect thing to get some distance between myself and a rough month.
As I sit here looking across the clouds, it’s time for reflection. I still have 2 hours before arrival and the screaming children all over the plane are now starting to settle down. Thankfully. If you thought the lifestyle of a player manager was a life of business class, reclined in a comfortable seat with a cocktail in hand, unfortunately, you thought wrong. The money you earn has to cover trips like these and all the other expenditures connected to owning a business. In the world of a businessman and not football idealist, the first thing you do after a transfer window is to review your budgets. Doing that I realize that the financial crisis has also had it’s impact on the world of football. It’s been a tough start of 2012. We almost achieved the numbers that we required. And today I feel that's a success.
And although I am aware of the importance of the business, I can’t stop thinking of what happened right up to the 31’st of January – closing day on the transferwindow. For those of you who didn’t read my first post, I had one VERY important case. One of my best friends and clients was under severe pressure to find a new club before the deadline. For myself, this very issue overshadowed the whole of January. And I am not cynical enough to look at this as just another transfer.
20th January 2012:
I feel extremely helpless and frustrated, perhaps even as frustrated as my unemployed player. I have done nothing but work on this case 24/7. Nevertheless, we are still without a concrete offer. I have been through my whole business network, even proposed that he consider other agents, one who has the potential to find him a club in a country outside my network. Everyone is keeping their options open, waiting for the prices to drop and get the player who is top of their shortlist. From experience of course, I know that everybody can’t get the same player, but with 11 days to go I start to feel the pressure. I try to act cool in front of my player, but he knows me very well and can sense my frustration. I hope for better days to come!
24th January 2012:
Another massive disappointment. I had an extremely positive dialogue with a potential club - a dream club for my player. We spent a lot of time talking about a potential contract, his perspective on the sport, we talked to both the sporting director and assistant coach. Just 2 hours ago they called me to say they wanted to postpone their decision as they received a big offer for their star forward and therefore have changed their priorities. They gave us a little hope as they assured me they still have him on their mind, but I have the experience to know they are just BS’ing me as they don’t want to damage our relationship. Now I have to look at new opportunities. I am starting to doubt if this is going to end happily. Gotta stay positive!
27th January 2012:
Still no response from any of the clubs I am pushing. The only incoming calls I get at the moment are from my clients girlfriend! She is getting desperate too. I really feel for them and their new born daughter. They don’t have any income right now. All they do have is two weeks notice from their landlord. I'm trying to tell both my client and his girlfriend that they have to understand one thing - the more pressure I am putting on the clubs to make a decision, the more they realize how desperate we are, which, in the long run, will push his market value severely down. For my player and his girlfriend, the question is not how much they are going to earn, it is IF they are going to earn anything at all.
30th January 2012:
Trying to keep calm, but it’s hard. The club we had serious talks with didn’t sell their forward. I read on the internet this morning that negotiations had crashed. They confirmed they wouldn’t sell him so close to the deadline. I considered calling them, but I kept cool and waited for them to call me. At 2 in the afternoon my blackberry display showed an incoming call from their sporting director. I didn’t pick up, waited for 10 minutes. He called me again. I lit a cigarette, picked up the phone. My hopes were confirmed – they were ready to start negotiations again. The club is located 4 hours from where I live and 5 hours from where my client lives. The sporting director said he would talk to his board, put together an offer and myself and my player should be ready to visit the club the following day. What I really love about my job are situations like this. All the frustration is for a moment forgotten and replaced with a feeling of indescribable joy. I called up my client and his girlfriend. They reacted as I expected – complete joy. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
31st January 2012:
Late last night I received the offer from the club. It was poor. Extremely poor! I went over it with my client. Despite his desperation to find a new club and a job, this offer exceeded our worst expectations. Instead of calling the director right away, I send him a text, explaining that this was not what we expected and that we would sleep on it. I called a good friend at a newspaper late that night to give him the story. In advance I got a statement quoted in the article where I explained our positivity towards the club but also stating that everything has a price. I hoped to emphasize my message to the club and in turn, they would improve their offer.
31st January 2012 – 5 hours before deadline:
I have just arrived at the club's beautiful stadium and training ground. My client is sitting next to me. Sometimes it really surprises you how much pressure the media can put on a club. After the article was published, many of the club's fans demanded that the club sign my client. The club hadn’t made any big January transfers and when the rumor hit the newspaper, it put the club under pressure to sign him. We received an improved offer and within the next five hours my client needs to undergo a medical check. In the meantime I need to arrange the details of the contract. We have already agreed to terms on contract length, basic salary and my commission. Now we need to talk bonuses and sign on, stay on or sign off fee’s for my client. These are all details and I expect that we will be at a press meeting at around 11pm tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed and hope my next update will be positive.
1st February 2012 – Deadline passed:
It’s a quarter past midnight. I am sitting in the hotel lobby with my client and he has just finished a statement for his new club's website, taking some photos of him wearing his new club's kit. I don’t want to dwell on the frustrations of the last month. I just want to focus on the happiness I feel right now. It’s been tough, but we made it. I will be away the next couple of weeks, doing a lot of irrational and stupid things. Hopefully I will be in good condition when I'm seated on the plan headed for La Manga in Spain, making my next blog post for Bettingexpert.com.
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Hi guys. I really appreciate the positive feedback, as you can see it's really been a tough month.. However what doesn't kill us make us stronger, and the happy ending has given me even more energy. I look forward to a new season, both in terms on the world of football, but especially also on my blog at Bettingexpert! Hopefully we can develop some discussion on different topics in relation to football..
I would have loved this to have been a TV documentary. Really gave us an insight into what it's like for an agent, the intensity of the transfer window with all the complex relationships involved. Loved it.
Well played The Agent.
Nice post - again! It's always the same with the media, they have enormous power - good for you :)