Bayer makes Donovan decision

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by olafgb, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Germany
    In a dpa-article (German press agency) on the Hedjuk transfer they are also telling news about Donovan:

    Landon Donovan won't return to Bayer this season. "Though the details aren't discussed yet, it is clear that we'll continue to loan him", says Bayer GM Ilja Kaenzig.
     
  2. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Good for MLS

    Hate to say I told you so, Olaf... but... ;)

    "I told you so." And, yes, there's NO outright buy-out clause (which Landon would exercise, if it really existed), but Bayer is obviously INCAPABLE of forcing him back, as you have long claimed they could (and would). Looks as though MLS does own a share of Landon's contract rights, after all!

    Conclusion: Game, Set, and Match, MLS. :D

    Man, I NEVER get tired of being right...
     
  3. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Germany
    Re: Good for MLS

    ???

    I was reporting that there were negotiations between MLS and Bayer for a further loan deal - that's what I said and what Bayer always announced to be the probable solution. I still say they could get him back if they wanted to, but I never said they would get him back (just that the probability increases if the bad start continues - but that's obviously not the case). It's a difference about not being able and not wanting to have a player at the moment; the text neither says nor gives reason to assume that Bayer is unable to get him back - which is also proved by the sentence that the details (as e.g. the length of the loan) aren't clear yet.
     
  4. Selecao2002

    Selecao2002 New Member

    Oct 20, 2000
    MA
    Re: Good for MLS

    There is a slight difference between being 'incapable' of forcing someone back and choosing not to. At this point, I would guess that BL decided that it is just wiser to let LD remain on loan. I would think if BL really wanted to, it could 'force' LD's hand.
     
  5. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    C'mon, Olaf, we've been hashing the LD stuff to death here -- do I have to drag out links to the other threads? :)

    We've had considerable debate about who, exactly, owns LD's contract (i.e., BL04 or MLS), whereupon Tim came in, interrupted our discussion, and claimed Landon owns a buy-out. Well, there apparently isn't a buy-out (as I suspected), Bayer can't call him in -- despite wanting to (as I suspected), and he's staying in MLS (as I suspected).

    The length? ANOTHER TWO YEARS -- I'd be willing to bet hard cash -- which is what MLSnet reported as the option way back when the original agreement was signed. It was MLS' option, not Bayer's, all along -- no matter what the German press was reporting. As for the seemingly off-hand comment, "we haven't discussed all the details"? Club-speak for, "we're pretty much screwed."

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=7600

    From the very second post in that thread, my take on Calmund:

    "Sure, Donovan signed a contract that allegedly gives us his rights through 2007, but the details are unclear because Donovan's agent out-witted us in negotiations by putting in a ton of 'wiggle room.' He is also worth a lot to MLS and NIKE, who are considering pouring millions into promoting him in the U.S. as the 'face' of U.S. Soccer, and even a club such as Bayer Leverkusen has trouble keeping up with NIKE's wishes. Now, it's pretty clear in the contract that if Donovan were to get a starting role in most BL 04 matches, we have the right to recall him regardless of other considerations, but since I can't convince my idiot coach that he should get a chance to start alongside either the dynamo Basturk and the headcase Simak as one of our two attacking midfielders, we are definitely going to lose him to the U.S. for at least the next year, and we're probably only going to see a part of a transfer fee when Donovan returns to Europe somewhere outside the Bundesliga. I'd prefer to say that Donovan needs 'experience' before returning to us, but, as anyone who knows football could plainly see during the World Cup, he is already capable of making Bundesliga defenders look silly. So I guess I'll just have to find another way to save face in the press."

    Nothing has changed. It's all about saving face.
     
  6. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Re: Re: Good for MLS

    Bayer is in serious trouble this season (mark my words!), and they are in real, real danger of missing out on a Champions League spot for next season, and possibly an UEFA place, as well, if they don't shape up soon. They are certainly thin up front and even in the midfield (if there's even one semi-major injury to Basturk, Simak or Schneider).

    And you think they're simply "choosing" NOT to bring in a player who played EVERY minute of a WORLD CUP QUARTERFINALIST and scored MULTIPLE goals as a midfielder/forward when they own his rights already?!?

    Please... If they COULD, they WOULD, but they CAN'T -- obviously. It's called drawing an inference on strong circumstantial evidence, and, in this case, I'm pretty comfortable with my position.
     
  7. GoDC

    GoDC Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Hamilton, VA
    Re: Good for MLS

    Could you post your copy of Landon's contract so we can all see the proof that there is no buyout clause?? You must have one because you are so sure it does not exist.

    I am not saying it does or does not exist in there but his father, who I think might have seen the contract before, says there is one so why should you doubt that??
     
  8. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maverick -- your reasoning is nothing more than rampant speculation. There very well could be a buy-out clause because the existance of something does not mean it is in the parties' interest to use it. It could very well be, assuming this story is worth more than the other stories coming out of Germany on this, that while Donovan/MLS could have exercised the buy-out clause, they compromised on a continued loan for two years to save money. For Bayer, they may have decided deferred rights were better than no rights. We just don't know.

    Olaf, you don't remember your loud prognostications that Donovan would have no choice but to me in Bayer by November? I sure do.
     
  9. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    True, Martin, I am speculating, but I call it "informed" rather than "rampant." Let me explain:

    First, as pointed out in an earlier thread, Landon himself admitted that part of his MLS loan/BL04 2007 Contract Extension was that BL wanted to remove his current, rather low-threshold buy-out clause. (It may have been simply set higher, but, if so, it was probably set prohibitively high, so that it is effectively no longer a realistic buy-out option, i.e., too much even for NIKE to swallow.) Once removed, it's no longer present.

    Second, MLS has certain rights to LD in this complex, three-party agreement (Olaf's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding), so they wouldn't agree to a simple buy-out, either. Remember, the deal announced at the time was that IF the "loan" were extended, LD would remain with MLS -- he couldn't simply be loaned to a different club in a different league. That implies ownership, at least in part, by MLS, and Landon doesn't have a straightforward buy-out.

    My $0.02, but I'm fairly sure that it's a worthwhile investment of capital. ;)
     
  10. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Germany
    That's simply not true. Anyone asking me how the outcome will be (e.g. Bruce S), got the answer: "It will be a further loan deal". We (= you, Maverick, Anderson and me) were just speculating on some legal issues. Never ever did I say something like "They will force Donovan back" (but if you want to: search the old threads and show me).

    You also got to differ between my opinion and what I'm reporting. Surely I did say that it might (or even will) be better for Landon to return now - that's what I'm still thinking, but only the future can say what's right there.

    In this matter I think Selecao 2002 is right. Assuming that there couldn't be a different solution is ridiculous. Neither do they nor can they see Donovan as their saviour this season.
     
  11. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Oh, but they should. :D
     
  12. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As a professor of mine once said (about someone else, thankfully), you're taking liberties with the text.

    One possibility is that MLS has some rights to Landon that they've exercised. Another is that Landon has been successful in convincing Bayer that they're better off leaving a happy Landon in San Jose than bringing home a bitter, unhappy Landon. Another is that Bayer was unwilling to give Landon the guarantees about playing time he wanted.

    If it's the latter, then either Landon threatened to exercise the (hypothetical) buyout clause if he couldn't stay in MLS, *OR* Bayer thought it best to leave him in MLS.

    Your speculation isn't informed so much as frothing-at-the-mouth rabid.
     
  13. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Hi Pot, I'm Kettle; nice to meet you. One man's froth is the basis for another man's cappucino.

    I'm taking liberties? I'm filling in the substantial gaps. Do you dispute that there are gaps? Every single informed party that has followed this saga -- and, yes, it is a SAGA -- has termed Landon's contract as "complex." Are all these observers foolish? If this situation were so cut-and-dried, why on God's green earth hasn't it been resolved already?

    Feel free to draw your own conclusions. I have said all along that MLS and Landon (together, not separately) will exercise whatever leverage (contractual or otherwise) they can to ensure that Landon doesn't return to Leverkusen this November. Guess what? They were successful. And, no, Landon is neither a free agent, nor is he going to another Euro team.

    Sure, you can point to the same gaps I can and engage in counter-speculation. But I called the result from the beginning, and I like my logic as the underpinning for my preferred result.

    Now go order your own cappucino.
     
  14. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Good one!

    :D

    Now, now, Segroves, don't be bitter because you had to eat some serious crow after the World Cup because of McBride's GLORIOUS play for the USMNT in Korea... we can't all be right. ;)
     
  15. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Quickly, where I think your reasoning may breakdown is as follows.

    There is no evidence that the buyout clause, if it exists, was set "prohibitively higher." Bayer may have intended to do so, but it is certainly possible that they understimated Donovan's value in the U.S. The only evidence on this, is Tim Donovan's, which contradicts your speculation, informed, rampant or otherwise.
     
  16. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I do that all the time here.

    I strive to avoid the breathtaking arrogance to present them as anything else.
     
  17. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    Has there ever been any concrete evidence that Nike cares one way or the other? Some people around here talk like it's fact.
     
  18. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    If you didn't notice, I put smiles and winks into my message to Olaf. Also, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and point out that I've had a long-running discussion with Olaf, Martin and others as to the exact nature of LD's contract, and I was merely enjoying a moment of seeming vindication. If you want to characterize that as "breathtaking arrogance," fine by me.

    I also don't go around characterizing people's posts as "rabid," when they are, in fact, coldly rational and argued. If you want to read rabid drivel, go read the Metrostars Forum, which has degenerated into ridiculous pouting over the game-to-game performances of certain players that are never, ever discussed in context, much less coherently. (This, mind you, from a massive Metros fan, no less.)

    Next time, try critiquing an argument, not a poster's style. You may have greater success...
     
  19. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    Can we please just discuss Bayer and Landon? Thanks.
     
  20. maverick

    maverick New Member

    Mar 7, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    NIKE

    Dark Knight -- as requested, back on topic:

    Buzz around the boards was that NIKE was really, really pleased with the sales of its soccer products in the wake of the World Cup; it was allegedly particularly surprised with respect to the strength of demand in the U.S. market (of all places).

    NIKE has also begun to center a marketing campaign around Landon, making him a focal point for soccer advertising in the U.S. -- case in point: last month's issue of GQ, featuring Landon stripping off a NIKE jersey. This kind of mass-market appeal that reaches beyond the mere "footy lover" is critical to the long-term plans of NIKE with respect to U.S. soccer, which is well documented in the Business & Media thread (at least, before the crash of '02).

    It's also established that Landon has a SIZABLE contract with NIKE in place already, which makes him a valuable asset to begin with.

    Furthermore, FWIW, I have a friend who works for NIKE soccer sales in Germany (competing head-to-head with Addidas on its home turf!) who tells me that NIKE USA has been turned on to the potential of soccer and views Landon as the probable poster child for a massive push towards 2006 and beyond.
     
  21. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Can I do both?

    Your argument was based on you asserting things as fact, without evidence.

    It just seems really weird to do the Ickey Shuffle about the non-existence of a buyout clause without any evidence that it doesn't exist.
     
  22. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    Thanks Maverick. Reading that, you can't help wonder if Nike expressed their preference to Landon that he try to find a way to stay in the States. It also makes me think that Landon can help soccer by staying here, assuming Nike starts making a lot of commercials with him.
     
  23. anderson

    anderson Member+

    Feb 28, 2002
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Coupla additional speculative thoughts about a possible "buyout" clause and other non-financial "outs":

    Regardless of whether there's a buyout in the contract or how much the buyout amount may be, a cash buyout is not necessarily the only possible contractually-provided out.

    I don't know what this particular contract between LD and BL contains. I also don't know what sort of termination provisions may be specific to the professional sports business. But I've seen quite a few employment contracts for high-profile, high-responsibility individuals. They often include termination provisions relating to responsibilities, titles, or perks that enable the employee to terminate the contract if any of those things are diminished. These provisions can become fairly particular (or downright odd) when the employee is believed to have some unique or highly-prized skills.

    It's not a wild leap to think that a certain soccer player's contract may contain provisions other than a cash buyout that enable that player to terminate the contract (e.g., guarantees about playing time, number of first team league appearances, etc.).

    Of course, LD may have made demands about these sorts of things even if they're not actually in the contract - but my point is that these sorts of things may well be formalized in the contract as part of a termination clause completely unrelated to a cash buyout.

    As pointed out, that doesn't mean that LD would want to exercise any such clause, but his legal leverage may not be limited to a cash buyout.


    Be all that as it may, I don't think that most of these sorts of issues are typicallly resolved by invoking contractual provisons. People - even sophisticated business parties and their annoying lawyers - are often surprisingly reasonable and can amaze you at how easily they can respect each others' needs and desires to reach an accommodation. As long as everyone understands that it's all just business, no one needs to "force" anyone to do anything.
     
  24. Mattinho

    Mattinho Member

    Jan 27, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great, here's to the new era of sacrificing our best players for the well being of Nike.
     
  25. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    I'll drink to that as long as we agree that "sacrificing" is a big exaggeration and "well being of Nike" involves a bunch of media exposure for Landon and MLS.
     

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