BY SIMON YAFFE
IT’S the time of year when football fans are fixated by transfer gossip.
But many will not realise just how much work goes into securing a player.
It is just one of the many facets of the intricate nature of football that sports lawyer Daniel Geey discusses in Done Deal: An Insider’s Guide to Football Contracts, Multi-Million Pound Transfers and Premier League Big Business (Bloomsbury Sport, £16.99), which will be published on Thursday.
“I am trying to make the football industry a bit more accessible,” Daniel said.
“I remember having discussions around the Shabbat dinner table about why has this kid not signed and such related-questions.
“I want people to be interested in that rather than just the back page headlines and transfers.”
Having already set up a hugely-popular blog, and encouraged by family and journalist friends, the 37-year-old, decided to write his first book.
Daniel becomes involved in transfers when the wheels are in motion.
“I have to be reactive, but I won’t see the first 90 per cent of work which has gone on the transfer,” he explained.
“An agent will have a huge array of connections and networks in order to understand if a club can transfer a player in or out depending on particular circumstances.”
The Liverpudlian grew up enthralled by the sport and by the fortunes of his beloved Liverpool FC.
He has written for such publications as The World Sports Law Report, Sport Business and The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal and newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
And he regularly provides comment and analysis for Sky Sports News, Sky News, CNN, BBC Radio 4 and talkSPORT.
Raised in the Woolton Village area of Liverpool, Daniel attended the city’s King David schools from the age of four until 18.
Dad David’s passion for Liverpool FC was passed on to him, while mum Lillian was a good tennis player.
Daniel read politics and law at Manchester University, where his dissertation was on the Bosman ruling.
Daniel said: “At the time, the European transfer system was being completely re-hauled.
“Football was always something that had interested me, as did law.”
He then embarked on a Master’s in competition law and European football broadcasting rights.
Daniel’s studies helped him provide advice on a number of football regulatory, disciplinary and broadcasting issues once he landed a training contract in London.
Also in his book, Daniel touches upon television coverage of football.
There is growing dissent among supporters regarding kick-off times and the lack of consideration shown to them when they are moved for TV.
And Daniel warned that little will change. He explained: “A report came out last week which said that Champions League matches may take place at the weekend.
“How will that impinge on the domestic game, who knows? Then there is Amazon gaining TV rights for the Premier League.
“It has has its own objectives, primarily to make sure Amazon Prime gains more subscribers.
“BT Sport getting the Champions League rights from Sky a few years ago for the first time was a big thing, but now we are seeing multiple providers.
“There is going to be a more non-traditional way of broadcasting football, too, in a reactive way.
“The way people are consuming sport is changing — maybe some of them only want to watch three-minute highlights or they will spend half the time looking at their phone and the other half watching a game.
“A lot of studies are going on regarding people’s attention spans, so football can’t be seen in isolation any more.
“TV is in such a strong negotiating position because it funds a huge proportion of the game.”
Daniel also writes about youth development, talking about the controversial Elite Player Performance Plan youth development scheme initiated by the Premier League, compensation when younger players are transferred and when they are out of contact.
“Most British footballers stay in Britain, so it has been quite refreshing to see Jaden Sancho at Borussia Dortmund, Reiss Nelson at Hoffenheim and Jonathan Panzo at Monaco, as well as Everton’s Ademola Lookman, who was at Red Bull Leipzig last season,” continued father-of-two Daniel, who is married to Hollie.
“These foreign clubs are seeing the potential of playing them in their first teams and making mid-range investments, which means they may be sold back to British football once they have proven themselves at the highest domestic and Champions League levels.
“Ultimately, it comes down to the attractiveness of the team and the package — and very few are going to reject the lure of, say, Barcelona and Real Madrid.”
There has also been talk of a breakaway European league by the continent’s elite clubs.
“The question mark is how can UEFA balance the needs of all its members against the need to ensure that the top clubs in the Champions League are receiving the adequate prize money for the success and reputation they are bringing to the competition?” he asked. “That is nothing new.
“The query will always be how a Premier League club could move into a European super league and not have domestic fixtures any more.
“It is a controversial subject, even to the most mild-mannered of football fans and I don’t think it is a possibility in the short to mid-term.
“I do think that the Champions League may be expanded in order to maximise television revenue.”
Done Deal’s foreword is written by ex-Sampdoria and Juventus striker and Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli, a close friend of Daniel’s.
He said: “I am chairman of a charity called Football Aid and he was looking to get involved with football charities.
“We have developed a really good friendship and we meet for breakfast every now and then and pick each other’s brains.
“Gianluca is a top gent and a really lovely man.
“I am trying to get him to come round for Friday night dinner.
“We often chat about my being Jewish, Jewish identity and festivals.”
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