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  • lynda AWOL lynda AWOL Jun 11, 2011 13:25 Flag

    Escape Clause in the Players Contracts?



    Escape Clause, who has the final say - the player or selling club?


    "Let's say that Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool had all offered Blackburn 16m and 5p for Jones. Who does he go to then? In Utd's eyes clearly the decision is left to Jones, and him alone.
    But is a judge likely to see it this way? I sincerely doubt it. Firstly, Jones has a contract with Blackburn Rovers. He belongs to them and it is the club that will decide who to sell their asset to, no matter if Jones has had a medical, agreed his wage packet and engraved his name on a boot locker at OT.
    The terminology on these contract-busting deals is also quite clear. Offering the required amount triggers the player's right to talk to interested parties. It's a negotiating point not a sealed deal.
    Even more importantly, if there is more than one party interested in an asset, this constitutes a market and the club not only has every right to seek the best price, it has an OBLIGATION to do so for its owners and supporters alike.
    Clearly Jones' contract may be broken by a 16m+ offer, but that isn't a closing price. If there are clubs willing to offer more than Utd then it is transparently a starting price.
    In that case the Venkys have every right to pursue those offers or you could imagine the Department of Trade taking an interest in a clear restraint of trade.
    Just imagine if you had this really cute dog that everyone was dying to take home. You might scream, 'no way in the world am I selling Fido. Well, if you gave me 16m I might.' If you had three suitors offering that price and more, would you really be happy to sell to the guy offering the least, just because he whipped out a juicy bone and tempted Fido to trot over?
    I'm sure Blackburn would like Jones to be happy with where he's going, but that doesn't oblige them to shortchange themselves in order to please him and SAF.
    These trigger deals are put in place by player agents who want the best of both worlds for their clients - long lucrative contracts, even if their man turns out to be crocked or plain useless, with escape routes if something better comes along.
    But that doesn't alter the fundamentals of any market - you need the agreement of all interested parties to seal a deal and Blackburn would like a little more moolah, or they aren't signing.
    If they don't want this to drag on over summer and possibly next season while the creaking wheels of justice grind over the matter, Utd will probably have to cough up another 3-4m to make the Venkys go away. "

    Reference: twadomikwadios (courtesy of The Telegraph, a contributor).

    Personally, I'm not too sure about release clause in contract, so what are your thoughts on this issue?


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    • A major headache for United is in the interpretation of the release clause in Jones’s contract. They triggered it with their £16.5m offer and were allowed to talk to the player as a result.
      But Rovers have taken legal advice and insist the clause does not force them to sell to the first club to meet the figure.

    • My point Devon, is the number of deals that are reported at the time of the deal being completed as undisclosed seems to be increasing. The press then seize on whatever numbers may have been floating around.

      For example the Henderson deal has now be labeled as worth up to 20M, but its also been reported as reported as low as 16M, plus we don't know if N'Gog is inside or outside the deal as a makeweight or not. But as the press like the number 20, so that is the number that seems to presumed despite the club not disclosing. The same thing happened in our deal for Aquilani when it was labeled as 20M, when in fact company accounts showed the cost to the club being significantly less.

      Now whether they should or should not be disclosed is a different story. As one poster said agents may try to muddy the water, and I then also added in some cases clubs may have good reasons to not let this information out. But end of the day, the usual watch word of don't believe everything you read in the press maybe appropriate.

    • "However its after the fact" - what do you expect, a running commentary.

    • Jim, a few on here do really seem to really dislike me, and never seem to waste any opportunity to let me and the rest of the board know that. However there are others on this board who do engage me in discussion, so should I just heed to the loudest and most foul mouthed or as I'd prefer allow those who don't like what I post ignore me, while those who do want to engage me in discussion don't have to wade through what to me look like childish shouts to "get lost".

    • No the childish one is you, faced with obvious contempt you keep on posting on this board. This is not a rant, merely pointing out to you how silly you are , wasting your time on here. Go away and do something productive with your time.

    • As I said before, you don't know the details either but that doesn't stop you pontificating - mind you, nothing does.

    • Jim, keep up the rants if you like, just think it makes you look a bit childish is all, especially as you obviously enjoy engaging in football discussion judging by your other posts.

      As for him signing for Liverpool, to be honest neither he nor Henderson were on my radar screen, nor it seems when the news broke nor many mancs either. Would I like what looks to be one of England’s better defenders for the next generation on our books instead of yours, or course, but I'm not heart broke about it either. I just thought it an interesting thread as so many of the locals think Blackburn are not playing by the rules, when I think we don't know the rules (the contract) so wanted to point that out.

    • You are a complete plonker aren't you, you just don't know when to stop typing.

    • Yes this summers transfers will be published sometime next year. You may call that transparent, but surely not timely.

    • Until you see the actual wording of the contract you have no idea what the clause is.

      It may well say that an offer of 16m gives the player the right to leave for that price, to the club of his choice, regardless of any other offers, and that the club cannot ask for more.

      If I were an agent, responsible for getting my client the best deal, that's exactly what it would say.

      The only negotiation United should enter into should be based on appearances and results.

      • 5 Replies to The Alcoholic Brown Family
      • "Until you see the actual wording of the contract you have no idea what the clause is."

        I totally agree on the above.

        My disagreement with your post is basically I don't think any club will be so stupid to put a 'maximum' ceiling on the price of their player, especially on a potentially great asset for the club. To do so will be tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.

        I actually agree with Venky's, Rovers owners, on the way they read the escape clause meaning it's the minimum selling price if other clubs are willing to pay more for the player. Why should they sell at the least price if other buyers are involved in the transaction and 'willing' to more more? Either Man U strike a compromise deal higher than the price stated on the escape clause if other buyers are willing to go higher or the player stays put at the club if he refuses to go the other buyers willing to pay more than Man U. A fairer conclusion to all parties in my view.

        Ps, thanks Butch for being considerate.

      • "If I were an agent, responsible for getting my client the best deal, that's exactly what it would say."?

        buster.moove, I'm in agreement with dsteer on agents. Public perception is that all agents are greedy bastards who feed on (or off, if you like) their clients, they destroy ethics, hinder loyalty and are a barrier to common sense! They are part of the reason for spiralling transfer fees. They do not believe in transparency, preferring to mask deals under cloaks, in the process ensuring they get a nice little cut of whatever deals they broker. They perpetuate and exacerbate problems within football and have little regard to the football supporter whose money contributes to the riches in the modern game. Arguably, they take more out of the game than they give.

        No one begrudges an agent a commission for work completed but it is not right that huge transfer fees do not give a breakdown of where the money is going! Every action should be showcased to the customer, they merit primary consideration.

      • Actually if you were an agent you'd not be doing yourself any favors if that is how you'd write the escape clause. Agents get paid fees based on the value of the deals they negotiate. If you only want only a slice of a minimum transfer fee so be it, but most agents would like to maximize the transfer fee as that maximizes their own pay.

        On this one I have no idea, and the comment unless any have read the contract personally, you have no idea what it actually says or demands. Therefore I'd not assume either way, including what many are saying just because its favorable to Man United. Blackburn's owners maybe trying to pull a fast one, but then again they should know the contracts with their own players better than anyone else, so they maybe trying to stop United doing a fast one.

      • "Venky’s’ football advisers are understood to be attempting to resolve the impasse by making it clear to the Indian owners that the clause, inserted into Jones’s contract when he agreed an extension to his terms in February, enables a transfer to take place at the cost of the escape clause."

      • Most people would consider £16.5 million for an uncapped 19 year old to be more than a fair price and that is obviously what blackburn`s previous owners thought when they agreed to the clause. As I said I think the problem may have arisen because various people have been claiming Jones is worth more but they are basing their claims on the player they think he will eventually become rather than the player he is at the moment. They are not selling a Ferdinand or Terry just a player who if everything goes right could become as good as they are.

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