Football Clubs and Coaching Players

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When a club or financial group decide to purchase a player for millions of euros, dollars or whatever currency is agreed on, they do so based on a large amount of information they have managed to gather about the player – information not always available to the general public. These are the facts the purchasing parties should be aware of since this information provides the support and guarantees that will enable them to finalise the transaction. In the event the buyer is a club, the club management not only hope their investment will mean personal success for the player they are buying, in other words, the player’s own individual achievement, but that this personal success will translate into the largest possible amount of titles and cups while the player is wearing that particular club’s shirt. If this is accomplished, then the sports attainment envisaged and expected from the start of the transaction comes true, and the player’s personal resale value exceeds what was originally paid. There are clubs that, urged on by the need to pull off immediate sports achievements, at times decide to purchase players in all the splendour of their maturity and performance. Those same clubs might at other times decide to purchase a player even though he may not be at the peak of his performance at the time the transaction is finalised. Most likely because they have seen in him conditions that could be developed in the relatively near future and could
provide them with very profitable benefits. There are other clubs, in a very different financial situation, which purchase players with a lower, or even very low, performance level, often even opting for the purchase of young players with a view to developing the inborn conditions they have already seen in them. Obviously, the differences in the sums of money paid in each of the above cases are colossal. Clubs that can buy players whose career is already at its summit are clubs with the most powerful economies on the planet. This is clearly the case with Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal in England and Milan and Inter in Italy, to mention only a few. It is, therefore, reasonable that, having the financial resources to do so, the purchase should
seek to derive immediate benefits from the investment. There is no time to lose. Which is why so many millions have been paid, and the more millions paid, the faster success should follow in their wake. This is what is expected – indeed demanded – of them. Clubs unable to compete in this market where great stars are bought and sold due, so to speak, to the restrictions of their budget, must make do with however much or however little their own struggling players can achieve match after match. Needless to say, what they are relinquishing is the hope of immediate success in this sport. There is little or no chance of these clubs winning any significant recognition in tournaments lasting a certain amount of time, while trying to compete with teams that can as much as triple
their own worth. Year after year, then, the cycle is inevitably repeated, and dreams of being champions are again
kindled, only to evaporate a few matches into the season. One might ask, then, what the odds are for a club with scant financial resources to break out of this vicious circle where it has always been bogged down, and stand firmly in another place, a place where anything might be possible?

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Prof. Roberto A. Rodrigo
Football Coach – Technical Director
Buenos Aires, September 20th, 2008.
All rights reserved.
Translated by Elizabeth Birks