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A (Tongue In Cheek) Look At The Transfer Process

Villa’s transfer window has finally come to life after many, many reports of bids being prepared, weighed up and tabled.

But what does it all mean? How does it work? Why does it take so long?

Well, I can now reveal all!


Create A List Of Targets

Before you can consider your bid you need to establish who you want to bid on. There are several ways to do this. The first option is to send out a vast network of scouts to assess the potential of possible signings, however this can be very expensive and time consuming. The second option is to call on the knowledge of the manager and buy every player from his former club. The third, and easiest option is to wait until Sheffield Utd show an interest and just copy them.

An honourable mention must go to Wolves for finding a new, fourth approach. Simply find someone who makes money from moving players around and become his football equivalent of a self storage unit, think along the lines of Del Boys Lock up and you’ve nailed it.

Considering A Bid

Once a list of targets has been established you need to consider your bid. Important questions need to be answered at this stage such as are you going to place a bid in Euro’s (€) or Pounds (£)? Euros can make a bid sound bigger and more impressive.

Are you going to send your by fax or email? Fax is, obviously, the preferred method for exchanging documents at most clubs and leagues that pride themselves on being up to date with technological advances. Fax does have its downside though. A club such as Manchester Utd (picking one at random) could stop a deadline day deal for (again, totally random) their number 1 keeper moving to Madrid by unplugging the fax machine, where as an email will sit in the inbox, complete with the time it was sent.

The final thing to consider is whether to release the details of the bid to the aspiring young ‘freelance journalist’ or Dave who worked in the club shop 5 years ago.

Preparing A Bid

Now, it’s important to understand you can’t just jump into preparing a bid, you have to prepare to prepare a bid. This entails ensuring you have pens of various colours, pencils, crayons, rulers, calculator, protector and a good supply of coffee. All of which must be neatly aligned on your desk and within easy reach.

Once set up, you can start preparing your bid. You need to ensure the bid is correctly worded to avoid miss understanding and it must include graphs, flow charts and diagrams.

If your bid may be considered ‘derisory’ it’s best to include lots of colourful pictures and long fancy words to distract from the actual numbers.

A typical opening paragraph will read,

“The proprietors of Aston Villa Football Club request that Arsenal Football Club take into consideration the subsequent proposal for the transference of the registration pertaining to the professional footballer, namely Mr Emiliano Martinez, from Arsenal Football Club to Aston Villa Football Club.”

It’s important to ensure your bid has an intriguing opening with good character development, a solid plot that isn’t to convoluted, and has a twist at the end to leave the reader wanting more. It should also be available in all good book shops.

Weighing Up A Bid

This is a very important step, while each bid will be faxed to the selling club a hard copy of the accepted bid must then be posted to them.

By establishing the weight of a bid a club is fully prepared for the cost of postage and can add this to the overall value of the bid.

Obviously this makes overseas bids more complicated with the bid needing to be sent by air mail and having to pass through customs.

One trick to avoid this is best demonstrated by Birmingham City. By bidding for at least one cast off from Villa each year they can reduce postage costs by having whoever’s turn it is to be manager that month to hand deliver it.

Lining Up Your Bid

Once your bid is prepared it needs to be lined up. Each page must be placed neatly in an orderly queue ready to be faxed to its intended recipient, each page must be separated prior to faxing to allow the fax operator, a highly trained individual, to focus solely on the task in hand without worrying about pages sticking together.

In a busy transfer window a club may be ‘lining up several bids’ at once. Each bid should be separated by one of those plastic dividers you see at supermarket tills. The resulting queue can stretch for many miles.

Poised To Make A Bid

Now that our bid is prepared, weighed and lined up we can now be considered as ‘poised to bid’. This involves our highly trained fax machine operator loading the first page into the machine, entering the fax number and standing with his fingers hovering over the send button waiting for the perfect time to pull the trigger.

Send your big to early in the day and it can easily become buried under subsequent bids before anyone arrives in the office. Send it to late and you run the risk of the cleaner putting it in a draw for safe keeping.

A perfectly timed bid will arrive just as the recipient clubs fax machine operator sits down at his desk. This requires a lot of planning and spying on their fax machine operator to establish his daily routine. (Little known fact, that is the real reason two Leeds coaches were hiding in bushes in Derby)

If timed correctly your bid will be top of the pile at the start of the day meaning you are now ‘leading the race’.

Tabled A Bid

This is a fairly simple step, the receiving clubs fax machine operator will collect and sort all the pages of your bid and place them on a table ready to be considered by the club.

Submitting A Bid

At some point latter that day a secretary will collect your bid and hand it to the transfer committee, congratulations you’ve submitted your bid.

A Brief Look At What Happens After A Bid Is Submitted

Knocked Back/On The Verge

The selling clubs transfer committee will now asses your bid and decide if it is a ‘lucrative’ or ‘derisory’ offer and if the player is considered ‘available at the right price’

A ‘lucrative offer’ can ‘test the resolve’ of a club to keep an unavailable player, however it is unknown whether the test is teacher graded or moderated by the algorithm used for GCSE’s.

A ‘derisory’ offer will be ‘knocked back’ regardless of the players status (unless you’ve included enough distracting colourful pictures)

If your lucky enough to have your bid accepted and have been top of the pile when sending your bid you will now officially be ‘on the verge’ of signing the player.

The Transfer Request

If the transfer committee pass the ‘test of their resolve’ the only way for the bid to progress is for the wanted player to ‘agitate’ for the move by making a transfer request.

There are two main ways to do this. Firstly, the player could ‘hand in’ the request, this is a very polite way to do it and will lead to fans ‘understanding his desire to leave’ and appreciated him as a ‘great servant to the club’.

The second way is to ‘slap in’ the request by literally slapping the manager with the transfer request form. While this is a quicker way to achieve a transfer it will lead to claims of being ‘ungrateful for everything the club has done’ and ‘believing your bigger than the club’.

And Finally

With the bid accepted and personal terms agreed the deal can be considered ‘finalised’, however, this isn’t the end of it. No transfer isn’t ‘completed’ until the official announcement, often delayed while an elaborate two hour movie, staring the new player, is filmed in an attempt to distract from how much the club has overspent on the deal.

So now you know exactly why it’s taken so long for Villa to get new players in.

Article by: Ryan Lee


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