Charlie Webster - Third Party Ownership

06 May 2011 10:46

Can you imagine if QPR get a points deduction and don’t even end up in the Premier League next season? I’m not a QPR fan but by my reckoning they fully deserve to be promoted and to play their football in the top tier next season. The verdict of QPR’s fate through Alejandro Faurlin will be decided next week. Exactly though what is this third party ownership about and should it be allowed?

We’ve heard it before after the well documented transfer of Carlos Tevez from Brazilian side Corinthians to West Ham and with Javier Mascherano. After the Tevez affair had gone through the media and the laws, the Premier League and later the FA were under pressure to change the regulations. The result meant it was the first league in the world to implement such strict rules.

Why then is this allowed elsewhere and not in England? In South America more than 500 players are owned by third party ownerships and not by the clubs they play for. This is all above board and without it clubs in South America especially in Brazil would not survive. Production of new players is the major source of income in the state, ticket sales and TV money is purely not enough for a clubs existence. It’s also happened on numerous occasions in the past here in this country. It was publically known that Leeds United were buying players through third party owners when they were fighting for a place in Europe. Alan Smith and Paul Robinson were ‘sold’ to Registered European football finance by Leeds who leased their own home grown talent back from the finance company.

Did the new regulations after the Tevez-gate just push these deals even further into the shadows? I’m sure more than what has come to light is going on in the backgrounds.

There are positives though clubs are always searching for new and young talent from areas that would never get such opportunities otherwise. The likes of Tevez and Mascherano have benefited massively from third parties, they are extremely successful and earning money they would never have dreamt of. Tevez was brought up in an area in Argentina with high crime rates and part of the neighbourhood was even considered the most dangerous in the Americas. You can see my point. Would both Tevez and Mascherano have the opportunities and life style they have now if third party ownership was illegal throughout world football?

If it was 100% certain that there was no abuse or manipulation of this system then maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to have third party owners. This is where the moral dilemma comes into play, the problem arises when the investor has a say in what happens to the player. Are the so called owners interested in the well being or development of a player or just money? Tevez and Mascherano were shunted around to the highest bidder as pure commodities. Was either player’s future in mind at the time? It brings us around to the debate often brushed under the carpet of young kids and families from deprived areas throughout the world giving agents and investors everything they have to give the talent a chance at his dreams.

Does it affect the team and supporters? Say if Alejandro Faurlin was found to have been signed to QPR with a breach of rules has he been mistreated? Is he better off now than previously and would fans be any worse off? (apart from the possible points deduction of course if guilty)

Should we take a zero tolerance approach to buying players owned by third parties? Or will England then miss out on potential amazing players? Surely then the player will just be sold to another league? All this is legal in Spain, Portugal and Turkey. Maybe we need to look further afield than just the rules and regulations in this country but to the global issue of football through the likes of FIFA. It would be a crime to see countries rich in talent left completely barren.

It’s definitely some food for thought. I don’t think it’s as straight forward as is this right or wrong. What are your thoughts?

Charlie Webster

Source: DSG

Related Stories