A lot has been made lately of Radamel Falcao bypassing some of the biggest clubs in the world to sign with Monaco. Yes, Falcao is heading to Monaco and yes he is talking about how great it will be. Problem is, Falcao didn’t sign that contract; Doyen Sports who owns 55% of Falcao negotiated and signed that contract. Falcao went where he was told to go.
Doyen Sports holds the rights of many players in the Spanish and South American leagues. Carlos Tevez of Manchester City and Javier Mascherano of Barcelona are in this same boat. When both players left Corinthians after the 2006 World Cup, they were “loaned” to West Ham and neither player nor West Ham had any control over their next move. The sellers were not Corinthians, but four investment groups - Media Sports Investments (MSI), Just Sports Incorporated, Global Soccer Agencies (GSA) and Mystere Services Limited, All represented by so called “Super Agent” Kia Joorabchian.
The association of investors in the ownership of players is not an uncommon practice in football these days. There are many players in Argentina and Brazil whose clubs are in debt or financially limited on how many players they can carry on their rosters. So called businessmen or investors buy shares in the monetary rights of these young players. They often pay the costs of their training and accommodations, in the hopes that one day the player will bring in large transfer fees in which the “ownership” gets a part.
Over the last several years the Premier League and FIFA have started to put in place rules and laws that will not allow players to be owned by 3rd Parties. It is sad that this has reduced players to nothing more than compensated “slaves”. These businessmen claim to be giving these youngsters a break, and in a way they are, but the youngster agreeing to these terms has doomed themselves to a life of playing a sport that they love by another’s rules.