From the moment the “Bosman Rule” was introduced, this was always going to be an inevitable occurrence, one that that for better or for worse, has changed the face of football forever.
Gone are the days when a disgruntled player would have to grin and bear it, waste away at their club despite wishing to leave. Now, if a player wishes to depart, they do so, and really, there is nothing the clubs can do about it.
Already, this summer has produced a transfer saga ruled by player power, Samir Nasri’s rumored exit is one that will happen eventually, despite the best efforts of Arsene Wenger. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s stance on the situation tells much about the current state of the transfer game, after having an initial bid of twenty million pounds rejected, Ferguson has chosen to walk away, leaving the money on the table.
Ferguson knows that if Nasri really wants to leave, and he does, then Arsenal will have to sell this summer, or risk losing one of their most prized assets on a free transfer. As the summer winds down, Arsenal will find that they are unable to attract bids much higher than twenty million for a player with only a year left on his contract, forcing them to sell or risk fielding an unhappy footballer for at least three months.
At this point in the development of football, situations like Nasri’s are by no means uncommon, most transfers are dictated by the Bosman Rule, the ruling made in 1995 has proved to be one of football history’s main turning points. However, that fact does not put Arsenal in any stronger a position, they are still chained down by the solitary season remaining on Nasri’s contract, and the Frenchman’s burning desire to leave the club.
If Nasri does end up joining Manchester United for twenty million pounds, the transfer will represent one of the strongest examples ever of player power. Obviously, Arsenal have no desire to sell their star player, let alone to one of their closest rivals, let alone during a summer which will likely see them lose Fabregas as well. No, Arsenal would gain nothing from such a transfer, even the twenty million is well below Nasri’s real worth, and not enough to seal the signing of a replacement of equal quality.
The only parties that will benefit from Nasri’s potential transfer are United and the player, but most importantly the player. It seems that now the footballing World is dictated by players, and perhaps, that is the way it ought to be. For years, players were pushed around and controlled by clubs, even now, in league’s like MLS, players are still bullied by the teams they represent.
Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how the Nasri’s transfer future plays out, the Frenchman’s situation is a great example of typical twenty-first century transfer dealings, and the result of his saga could define the beginning of a new era in the upper echelons of the Premier League.
If European football wants to avoid putting their players in the positions of those who played years ago, or even those who still play in leagues like MLS, than it is vital that players have this negotiating power; whether the clubs like it or not.