James Yorke and Ted Knutson take a look at summer transfer stories with a statistical angle.

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  • NinJa

    I have a question for you guys:

    Why don’t clubs try to sign players to contracts where the player CANNOT ask to leave at any time? That is, the player HAS to honor the contract over its entire duration? This is how every contract is structured in US sports. But in soccer it seems that after just one successful year, the player expresses a desire to move to a “bigger” club and the club simply throws up its hand and accepts defeat.

    For example, take Everton and Lukaku. Why would Everton want to sell him? They absolutely wouldn’t. So why can they not firmly insist that the player stay and honor the contract?

    • Ron IsNotMyRealName

      I don’t know why, but up until about 5 years ago, the smaller clubs were eager to sell because they needed the money. So that might have set an expectations that holds even though the money has changed now.

      • NinJa

        Right, I agree that money is not an issue any more. Which is why Everton should NOT sell Lukaku. With him, they have a chance of having a really good season…maybe even contend for the top 4. Without him, they will be rebuilding.

        If a contract is a contract, then Lukaku should have NO wiggle room in trying to escape out of Everton. But too often in the PL, the player seems to get his way.

        • Ron IsNotMyRealName

          They don’t have any real chance at top 4 even with him.

          Players hold out and demand trades in the US too. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes htey negotiate opt out clauses, that’s more common. In the US, your contract travels with you if you are traded, and you can be traded against your will depending on the specifics of collective bargaining.

          I’m not sure it’s worth it to compare the two, there are just so many differences in the model.

          Suffice to say that it is in the best interest of clubs to keep their best players.

  • NinJa

    In US sports, players actually negotiate for and sometimes get a “no-trade clause” where they cannot be traded by the team against their will. Likewise, in the PL, teams should attempt to get the player to agree to a “loyalty” clause where the player cannot demand to leave at any time before the contract is up. Pay the player a bit extra, but shut off all talk of the player leaving. For example, give the player an extra £10 K per week to get this clause into the contract.

  • NinJa

    Gave your podcast a listen. It was quite good. Keep doing it. Would like you to discuss a bunch of teams (not just the ultra-rich big 6 teams).

    If one of you gets the opportunity to be part of the analytics team for a PL club, hope it is one of the lower-profile clubs like Bournemouth or Swansea…and maybe you can help turn that club into a title-contending powerhouse in the future.