‘Fire sale price’ will be discussed in the next transfer window, the finance expert said

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Retrieved 30 April 2020, 17:14 IST

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Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho

Elite European clubs will be able to sign players at “fire-selling prices” in the next transfer window due to the financial pressure brought by the coronavirus epidemic.

According to football finance expert Kieran Maguire, he hopes that teams with strong balance sheets will be able to bargain when the market reopens.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused major sporting disasters around the world, holding most of Europe’s top-flight leagues and is unlikely to end before the end of June.

Maguire thinks the situation could widen the gap between the biggest clubs and others.

He told Stats Performer: “If we look at the transfer market, it’s a prudent expense, so what can happen and what will happen is that the finance director will sit down with the football director, the head coach, the manager, whatever it is. And say this is the budget and this is the amount of money you have spent.

“It’s going to be significantly lower than the conversation we had 12 months ago. What we’re going to see is that both the club buying and selling clubs will agree to discuss lower prices.

“There will be a lot of clubs in Europe that are in financial crisis and so they will try to sell the assets and agree to a fire-selling or liquid-selling price for the players. They thought it could be a few million euros or sterling this summer.

“Similarly, purchasing clubs will say, ‘Our budget was X million and now it’s half-X, because we didn’t have the money.’

“There was a report from CIES in Switzerland that said there would be a 30 per cent reduction in transfer fees this summer.

“I think there is a fairly modest expectation of what will happen if the epidemic continues throughout the summer and the transfer window expands.”

He continued: “All the companies that are strong – and it doesn’t just have to be in the football industry – will be able to bargain.

“It will happen a lot in the Premier League and in other leagues across Europe, through strong clubs, clubs that have run themselves financially as tough ships, or with billionaire owners who are willing to fund to raise players.

“They will be able to bargain in the market without any doubt.

“This is what football has always managed – always strong and weak. What we see is the acceleration of the gap between them. This is how capitalism operates. Fairness does not exist in fair football.

“It’s always because of money, and if you look at the relationship between wages and the success of football, that relationship is very, very positive.”

Despite epidemics such as Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Philippe Coutinho have been linked with huge moves in the near season, but Maguire does not expect more than বেশি 100 million in deals.

“I think it’s highly unlikely. There are very few players who I think will be priced at that level before the summer market but the clubs will also have less money to spend,” Maguire said.

“What we’ve seen is over the last two to three years, mega transfers haven’t been successful.

“If you look at Osman Dembele, if you look at Coutinho, if you look at Antoine Griezmann, these were all big signs – probably without Cristiano Ronaldo going to Juventus.

“Ronaldo is in a world of his own and for a decade or so he has been one of the two best players in world football and everyone knows exactly what you are getting.

“The other players I mentioned were bought for potential and their existing achievements and they didn’t match the expected performance.

“As a result, many clubs in Europe will look to their middle-class, middle-class players that they can develop.”