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

  • 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)

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. This paper provides a theoretical model to analyze whether professional football players in the European football leagues benefit from transfer restrictions. It shows that under a restrictive transfer system, clubs can partially insure their players against income uncertainty by transforming a part of the player's risky future salary into risk-free current income. As a result, a risk-averse player benefits from the 'shadow of the transfer system'.

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Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Working Papers with number 0062.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2007
Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0062
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  1. Feess, Eberhard & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2002. "Transfer Fee Regulations in European Football," IZA Discussion Papers 423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau & Diego Comin, 2005. "Testing out Contractual Incompleteness: Evidence from Soccer," NBER Working Papers 11110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon & 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. 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.
  5. Feess, Eberhard & Frick, Bernd & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2004. "Legal Restrictions on Buyout Fees: Theory and Evidence from German Soccer," IZA Discussion Papers 1180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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