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Why football players may benefit from the "shadow of the transfer system"

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Author Info

  • Helmut Dietl
  • Egon Franck
  • Markus Lang

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich
    Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich
    Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

The transfer system imposed by the football governing bodies on employment relations made sure that a player could not leave his current club and sign with another club without the current club's explicit consent. The 1995 Bosman judgement of the European Court of Justice declaring football players to free agents after expiration of their contracts and the 2001 intervention of the European Commission, which, among other things, limited contract durations in football, can be interpreted as the two major steps towards restricting the application of the transfer system. Based on a bargaining model with stochastic player productivity, we show that less restrictive transfer rules reallocate ex post bargaining power from players to clubs. This reallocation is efficient and in the ex ante self-interest of players. The right to charge transfer fees enables clubs to insure their players. The players, in turn, benefit by converting risky future income into riskless current income. Overall, player utility is higher under more than under less restrictive transfer rules.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/rsd/CRSA_WPS/13_CRSA_full.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA) in its series Working Papers with number 0013.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2007
Handle: RePEc:rsd:wpaper:0013

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Related research

Keywords: Labour contracts; transfer restrictions; transfer fees; Bosman and Monti transfer system; FIFA regulations;

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References

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  1. Feess, Eberhard & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2003. "Transfer fee regulations in European football," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 645-668, August.
  2. Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau & Diego Comin, 2005. "Testing Out Contractual Incompleteness: Evidence from Soccer," Departmental Working Papers 200501, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramón & Matutes, Carmen, 1999. "Golden Cages for Showy Birds: Optimal Switching Costs in Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2070, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Oliver E. Williamson, 2003. "Examining economic organization through the lens of contract," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 917-942, August.
  5. Peter Antonioni & John Cubbin, 2000. "The Bosman Ruling and the Emergence of a Single Market in Soccer Talent," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 157-173, March.
  6. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-30, December.
  7. Eberhard Feess & Gerd Mühlheußer, 2002. "Economic Consequences of Transfer Fee Regulations in European Football," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 221-237, May.
  8. Eberhard Feess & Bernd Frick & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2004. "Legal Restrictions on Buyout Fees: Theory and Evidence from German Soccer," Diskussionsschriften dp0411, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  9. Bernd Frick & Gunnar Pietzner & Joachim Prinz, 2007. "Career Duration a Competitive Environment: The Labor Market for Soccer Players in Germany," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 429-442, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2011. "Organizational Differences between U.S. Major Leagues and European Leagues: Implications for Salary Caps," Working Papers 1105, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  2. Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke & Marco Runkel, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of Foreigner Rules in National Sports Leagues," Working Papers 0103, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jul 2009.
  3. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang, 2009. "Contest Theory and its Applications in Sports," Working Papers 0105, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  4. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2008. "Revenue Sharing, Reserve Clause and Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Working Papers 0100, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2009.
  5. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2008. "Salary Cap Regulation in Professional Team Sports," Working Papers 0020, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised Nov 2010.
  6. Helmut Dietl & Rodney Fort & Markus Lang, 2011. "International Sports League Comparisons," Working Papers 0144, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  7. Helmut Dietl, 2010. "Besonderheiten des Sports ‐ Was rechtfertigt eine "eigene Ökonomik"?," Working Papers 0040, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).

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