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Saturday, 19 February 2011

J.League Teams Being Ripped Off?

The recent saga of Shinji Okazaki's move from S-pulse to Stuttgart highlights the J.League's naivety in dealing with player transfers. (Don't tell me you were surprised that FIFA and EUFA backed a rich European club? Money talks. Why else would FIFA choose to hold the World Cup in the desert.)


Yahoo News: Okazaki joins Japanese exodus to Germany's Bundesliga

Goal.com: FIFA And UEFA Rule Shinji Okazaki's Transfer To Stuttgart Was Legal

Given the League's, and club's, tendency to respect a player's desire to play overseas, they are at the mercy of unscrupulous agents and clubs out to make a quick profit. Have S-Pulse, or Cerezo in the case of Kagawa, or Gamba in the case of Ienaga, insisted on a "selling-on" clause that assures them of a percentage of any subsequent transfer? (Mallorca have already set an 18 mil euro price on Ienaga, and Kagawa is valued at over 23 mil euros.)


Reference.com: Football TransfersAn article that should be required reading for every General Manager and Owner in Japan.

Goal.com: Japan International Akihiro Ienaga Joins Mallorca

Sport 360: Man Utd keen on Dortmund starlet Kagawa

I certainly hope Grampus show a bit more nous with Kensuke Nagai. Another likely target of Machiavellian poachers, if he proves to be as successful as we hope. Such 'sell-on' clauses are quite common in Europe and help to ensure that a club is genuinely interested in the player's ability, rather than his marketing value. (Hidetoshi Nakata ended up being passed around Europe like a golden egg, after his early success at Perugia.)

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