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Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by olafgb, Aug 27, 2002.
[mocking]I never get tired of being right. [/mocking]
First, there is no indication in Neale's press conference remarks about the the length of BL's option to recall Donovan after the two year period. In other words, BL MAY have the option for the remaining length of the contract, which it can presumably exercise at any time.
Second, as I read the loan restriction provisions, they appear to apply to players who WILL be loaned, not players who will necessarily go BACK to the clubs they originally belonged to.
I've considered that possibility, but there was an analysis from some reputable internet site somewhere recently that said quite clearly that the option kicks in at T+two years and must be exercised at that time -- it doesn't stay open for, say, year 3. If Leverkusen doesn't exercise its option, then MLS gets him for a further two years (whereupon the co-share ends, and Leverkusen has exclusive rights until 2007). This would make sense, given that it was clear that Donovan couldn't leave last offseason, either, after year one of the contract. In essence, it's a two year contract, with a two year extension -- not a lot of wiggle room. If I have to, I'll find that article as well; if you grant me that I'm correct, does that change your opinion at all?
Second, there really isn't much debate about Olaf's analysis, and MLS Confidential concurs. I once thought as you do, that this is a pre-existing agreement, and he's simply "going back" to his true club. Unfortunately, that common sense approach doesn't reflect reality as FIFA sees it.
As of the transfer deadline (Aug 31), Donovan plays for the earthquakes. As of Nov 1, he would seek to join the roster of Bayer. No matter how you parse it, Landon would be "transferring" clubs (in terms of actually suiting up) in a closed window. Now, if you want to argue that FIFA will grant Landon an exception, under a grandfathering clause or whatever, that's quite possible. But it's largely indisputable -- if you bother to fight through the FIFA legalese -- that Landon's return to Bayer violates the letter of the new transfer regulations.
Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
You have no idea what the loan fee is, or isn't. It would seem, based on the loan fees that Olaf has identified, that a player of Donovan's ability would command more, probably enough to cover the interest.
OK, mea culpa on this point, though I am not sure that clubs pay the equivalent of transfer fees to out of contract players, even when it is logical to do so. There are a number of legal or business reasons why the former scenario might make more sense.
Of course, as Karl points out, the main reason to do so is because Bayer may still get use out of Donovan, the possibility of which is easily worth the interest. Of course, if there is a buyout clause.
I wasn't necessarily refering to Lewis, but making a general statement that deals fall through all the time because personal terms can't be agreed upon.
However, there is so much misinformation in your post regarding Lewis I'm not going to bother to clarify it here, but to suggest Preston didn't want to pay him EPL wages because they had to pay a transfer for him is laughable.
Misinformation? Not at all. Lewis was widely expected to be a free (or token) transfer, much as Heydude from Bayer, since he was clearly not in Tigana's plans. Surely you can't be referring to my characterization of his play at the World Cup, not stellar, but solid. If Preston were willing to pay Fulham up to a $1M transfer fee, why wouldn't they pay Lewis' wages (from all reports, around 5,000 pounds a week) in full with the money they saved if there was no transfer fee? 5,000 pounds a week is EPL wages? Beckham and his ilk make ten times that amount weekly, most players fall squarely between the two extremes. Lewis is small fries.
The press release citing "wage demands" was a direct reflection of Preston's overall financial situation. You really think that no player in the First Division makes that much? I thought these boards were full of statements like "Third Division clubs pay more than MLS." Do you really think Lewis is that greedy that he'd pass up a chance at playing time, so long as he made a decent wage? He wanted to get paid under his current contract (not as though he wanted to renegotiate upwards), and Preston couldn't meet that demand AND pay a transfer fee.
You're right, stuff like this happens all the time, and there's no shame in it. Preston can base their decision in the press as "wage demands," but that's not the whole story. But nothing in my post smacks of intentionally disinformation or flagrant misinformation.
His fulham wages were reported to be around 600,000 pounds, PNE were offering around 400,000 pounds. You must have misinterpeted the article or post (I forget which) which stated the DIFFERENCE between the 2 deals was 5,000 pounds a week, not his current wages.
Like I said misinformation.
Dude, you're being a dork. Even if I misinterpreted the numbers, let's use yours.
Gee, there's a 200,000 pound difference in wages. His agreed-upon transfer fee alone was in the vicinity of 500,000 pounds. That means Preston had an extra 500,000 pounds lying around, and was nevertheless willing and able to shoulder a 400,000 pound salary. Hey, guess what! That's 900,000 pounds! Now, do you still want to argue that if there were no transfer fee, his current salary would be a problem?
Typical, you pounce on one slight irregularity after quoting the whole freakin' post (try making the effort to highlight the relevant part, if you bother quoting) and ignore the overall point of the post: Lewis is small fries, which you can't contradict. I tried arguing rationally, point by point; now stop wasting my time.
Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
Well there seems to be one guy in this thread who actually knows what's going on, but something tells me he ain't gonna spill all the beans
Hint: It's not you, and it's not me.
You're wasting your own time.
I must have missed all that talk about Lewis to PNE before the WC and that they were assuming to get him on a free, or is that another fact you are "assuming" to be true.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
Martin, it can't logically be that much. Let's say the buy-out costs $5M. The contract was originally signed for four years. If MLS owes Bayer even $1M a year, then they end up paying $4M for a player they don't own the rights to. Why not negotiate the deal, then exercise the buy-out IMMEDIATELY whenever first possible (I guess in this case, after year two).
Now that it's clear that LD is worth FAR more than $5M on the open market (or, at least, to NIKE in the U.S. market), why would MLS/Donovan even hesitate to pay $5M now and have his rights, rather than pay $2M more and get nothing in 2004? It just doesn't add up if the loan fee in this case is substantial.
Besides, a player is most often loaned for two reasons: he's not playing and needs experience, or his wages are at least partially offset through the loan. It's not a technique clubs use to make money (unless you view showcasing a player for a potential transfer as a technique, which is viable).
Of course, if there is no buy-out, or if the buy-out is set a very high sum (>$10M), then even a significant loan sum becomes mathematically and logically supportable.
Talk to Aris/BuffaloSoldier directly, don't take my word for it. Experts were surprised when Fulham demanded more than a token transfer fee (say, 100,000 pounds or so, which is what Bayer may ask for Surfer Dude). Their request for a substantial fee in this economic climate is coming from the same vein which spouted Tigana's refusal to release Lewis early for World Cup training, prompting Arena's infamous comment.
If you don't think Fulham has tortured Lewis' career at this point, you're not paying attention. If you want to argue that Lewis should have taken whatever offer Preston had on the table regardless, fine. But to say that Lewis' wage demands were unreasonable is ludicrous.
You're welcome to think I'm a jackass, but don't ever call me a sloppy debater, working with loose assumptions. (I'm now no longer going to discuss Lewis, certainly not on this thread.)
Response to a Troll.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
This is an overcomplicated, convoluted, house-of-cards view of this whole enterprise.
Why does MLS own Bayer ANYTHING? Here's what seems plausible:
--MLS had two years of LD. Those two years are up, but it can continue.
--Bayer and MLS continue to pay portions of LD's salary.
--LD has a buyout clause he can exercise anytime. Somebody has got to pay for it -- MLS, another team, or Nike.
--That option really can ONLY be exercised with LD's consent -- and he's keeping it in his back pocket, where it continues to retain ALL of its power.
--The buyout $ are worth less than LD's ostensible market value.
--BL has the right to demand his return now.
--LD wants to be on a team where he can start.
--Right now that team is the Earthquakes, not BL.
--LD will exercise the option if he's called back to BL and not guaranteed a starting position. (The technical negotiating term for this is "leverage.")
--BL won't call him back, because that will trigger the option. He's more valuable to them as a POTENTIAL player than he is as a player let go for the buyout sum.
--LD won't exercise his option because (a) the idea of playing, eventually, for a team that has European possibilities is appealing and (b) he can keep on doing what he is doing (which he doesn't mind and actually likes) while he waits for the European opportunity he knows he deserves and (c) once he exercises it, he knows he will be beholden, at least in part, to the party who finances it.
--In other words the buyout clause is MUCH more powerful unexercised, than exercised.
Really, you WAY overcomplicate this. It's really quite quite simple, and playing the game of speculative Twister is only going to get your mental ligaments sprained, if not torn.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
I still believe that there is no option, but this is just my opinion (as well it is just your opinion that there is such a clause). But again I want to point out a little mistake in your arguing even if this option exists: in soccer contracts there is never an option that can be exercised anytime - the general restriction are of course the FIFA transfer deadlines (and those who still doubt: I'm 100% sure that a buyout is a transfer), but additionally in a general buy out clause (=can be used by any team) such an option can only be exercised at the end of the season on June 30th. So, Landon could not force Bayer to say "I'll use the option immediately if you force me back" - he'd first have to return until the end of the season. Earlier nothings works. And if Landon really had such an option, don't you think Bayer would have given up after the whole story as their chance to dress him anytime in the future would be close to 0? IMO in this case it would have made much more sense to force him back until the end of the season to at least have a little bit of him.
Of course a transfer option can only be used with the consent of the player as he'd have to sign a new contract, which wouldn't come to exist without his agreement.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
First, if you believe, as both Olaf and I do, that there is no buy-out, none of this overly convoluted. MLS would owe Bayer something because it's in the contract. That's pretty straightforward, isn't it?
Secondly, even if there is some sort of buy-out, your argument is built on a different sort of "house of cards" as mine, and is similarly based on conjecture.
(a) As Olaf points out, no buy-out is ever "exercisable at any time," since that would cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war with respect to the transfer market. I don't want to debate this point with you, because Olaf has a better grip on the ins-and-outs of the FIFA transfer regulations than I do, or would ever want to.
(b) I will, however, speak as to your logic listed above; Essentially, your "reasons" as to why Landon wouldn't exercise his buy-out are the same reasons why he would ! Rewriting your point we get the following:
"LD will exercise his option because (a) the idea of eventually playing, on his own terms (not Bayer's), for a different team that has European possibilities is appealing and (b) he can keep on doing what he is doing in MLS for the Earthquakes (which he doesn't mind and actually likes) while he waits for the European opportunity he knows he deserves and (c) once he exercises it, he knows he will be beholden, at least in part, to the party who finances it, which is NIKE and MLS, but that's not a problem, because (i) NIKE wants him to be their U.S. poster child for now (and pays nice marketing cash which supplements his MLS salary) and (ii) MLS, which nurtured his development, deserves to reap the benefit of most of the transfer fee when Landon actually decides to go to Europe."
That paragraph, only slightly rewritten but coming to the exact opposite conclusion, is at least as convincing as yours. Therefore my conceits/assumptions have at least as much validity as yours, and are no more contorted. Once I've knocked out two legs of your argument, it's no more stable of a construct.
Let's just agree to disagree, you with your model, and me with mine.
recipe for constucting a mountain
take one molehill
add a "lawyer"
voila ! mountain
if you look at the bottom of this page you will see an "r"
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
Reasonable people can disagree, but who should one believe? Two BS posters – admittedly intelligent posters – or a close relative of the player who is likely quite knowledgeable about the intricacies of the situation?
Rhetorical question, obviously.
Meanwhile, are buyout clauses specifically prohibited by FIFA rules? I doubt it. I bet a player who exercises a buyout clause would technically be “out of contract” and therefore not be subject to loan/transfer restrictions. Poor marks to the BL braintrust for letting this provision in; and kudos to LD’s agent.
Finally, back to negotiating principles. Whenever you are in a negotiation, you need to ask yourself the question “Who has the power here, and what sort of power is it?”
In this situation, most of the power resides with Landon. IF he exercises his buyout clause, he relinquishes power
--Over BL – he can still demand a starting position with a Champions League level team while the buyout is in his back pocket. It’s a bird in the hand for him now.
--Over Nike – if Nike funds the buyout, then he is likely going to have to stay Stateside for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, he can STILL be a promotional poster boy for Nike. The technical term for this is “having your cake and eating it too.”
--Over MLS – if MLS funds the buyout, then they now have more power in any future transfer scenario and, as we’ve seen with some recent transfer demands, the MLS braintrust may be unrealistic in their expectations. As a far as MLS “deserving” something, well, that’s a real stretch -- as a lawyer, you know that contractual obligations are NOT about issues of putative fairness.
Call it convoluted, or whatever you like, but frankly it seems beautifully syllogistic to me. As a result, everyone keeps on doing what they are doing…at least for now.
Sorry, Karl, you're picking the wrong two sides. Who should one believe?
Reiner Calmund, business manager of Bayer Leverkusen, with a definitively intricate knowledge of Landon's contract, who states unequivocably that there is NO buy-out, or a father who has in the past exhibited a tendency to emotional outbursts on Big Soccer (the Olympics ring a bell?) which suit his own PR purposes, and who has no legal experience with contracts?
Right, hardly a rhetorical question. Olaf and I believe Calmund, not Tim. I don't kow-tow to anybody simply because they're related to a celebrity or athlete, or because they post on these boards. I choose to believe Calmund, if for no other reason than I truly believe that if there were a reasonable buy-out, it would have been exercised already, your aforementioned logic notwithstanding.
As for when a buy-out can be exercised, you're not paying attention; you'd lose that bet.
A free agent (i.e., player out of contract) is ALWAYS and NEVERTHELESS subject to transfer restrictions. That's not an opinion, that's a fact. That's why over 100 pro soccer players in Germany that have lost their job since the end of the last Bundesliga 1 & 2 seasons are sweating bullets now that the DFB has set next Monday, 12 Noon, as a deadline for all rosters to be set and player movement to be frozen. They will NOT be allowed to sign with any German team REGARDLESS of their free agent status. Landon would be no different if he exercises his (alleged) buy-out after this weekend.
"Derzeit arbeitslose Profis bliebe zudem länger Zeit zur Jobsuche..." = Pro players currently unemployed will remain locked into a job search for a long time (i.e., until the transfer window opens again on Jan 1, 2003).
None of this, and I mean none of this, affects my view that Landon is the greatest talent that this country has ever produced on the pitch, and, even more importantly, he's turned into an amazing young man with his priorities and morals set along the straight and narrow. If he wants to stay in MLS, fine. If he wants to go to Europe, even with Bayer, fine. I'm sure he'll find a way to make his dreams come true, precisely because he has leverage -- with NIKE behind him.
But we're discussing his current contract, not his hopes, dreams, goals or anything nebulous. The words on the page have meaning and are enforceable, and some of us are trying to decipher (or, more precisely, infer) its terms without reference to "right" or "wrong." You know, the terms that bind MLS, Bayer and Landon to some definable course of action.
I don't think there's a buy-out, and everything I've posted flows logically from that assumption. Only time will tell whether I'm right or wrong on that assumption, but rest assured, I'll be the first one to post that I was wrong once the details emerge from the muck. I just don't think I'm wrong on this point -- yet.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
Buyout clauses are not prohibited, they can just cause a regular transfer. A player leaves to another club and the old club gets a transfer fee - that's not different to any other transfer of a player who's still under contract somewhere. Believe me, the only difference of a transfer with buyout clause is that the transfer sum is not negotiable; everything else stays the same.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice Post, Karl !
Well, I'll defer to your's and Mavericks knowledge on this subject, though it seems to me that a player who is "out of contract" -- which is what one would be if a buyout clause is exercised -- can presumably sign with anybody at any time.
I thought that was the whole purpose of the Bosman ruling.
Legal logic suggests that imposing transfer window restrictions on "out of contract" players constitutes restraint of trade, something that would be ripe for legal action.
I suppose things get sticky if, say, MLS funds LD's "buyout" -- then it looks like a transfer. But what if Nike ponies up the dough? Nike isn't part of FIFA. Nike is not beholden to anybody but Nike.
Maybe the disconnect with Calmund's remarks and Tim Donovan's confirmation of a "buyout" really boils down to a semantic issue -- namely, Calmund really thinks of it as a "transfer fee", while the Donovan camp thinks of it as a "buyout" clause.
Still, even if the buyout is exercisable only within certain time windows, that doesn't negate the power of Donovan to exercise it. He still has BL over a barrel.
That's the best "innocent" explanation of the fundamental disconnect I have heard yet, especially since I posed the question on another thread why Calmund would say what he did, if he wasn't inclined to lie.
The restraint on trade question is a thorny one. The question is: what is purpose of the transfer window? If it's to prevent free agency, that probably contravenes Bosman and EU trade principles. But organized sports leagues are unusual entities (e.g., five new teams based in large cities such as Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt couldn't come along, sign Beckham and Figo and some other players, and then sue the DFB/Bundesliga based on a antitrust claim when they aren't allowed to immediately join the 1. Bundesliga), and if the leagues can show that transfer windows serve a legitimate business purpose unrelated to restraint of trade (e.g., orderly course of business such as the securing of bank loans based on fixed player costs, or ensuring fan loyalty), they may be in the clear. Then again, I'm not an expert on Bosman, so I can't say with any authority.
Finally, let me say that this will almost certainly be resolved by negotiation, not litigation. Perhaps I'm rubbing many people the wrong way because I'm approaching this from a "winner takes all" mentality, asking what happens if, say, a court were asked to choose one side's view of the facts or the other's. The fact is, if all the parties are rational enough about this (and indications are that they are being rational), there will be some negotiated solution that won't ever allow a court to reach a black-on-white ruling on the subject of Landon's contractual obligations.
Then again, it could just be because I'm an arrogant SOB.
i've just spent the past 20 minutes reading this thread. maverick, you're amazing. you vacilate more than a yo-yo. go back to work, you're stealing someones money !