Modern day football clubs certainly seem very wise. Apart from those lost to administration and bankruptcy, they appear to have found a contingency plan in how to make a few quid at short notice.
Their solution is this; Whether old or young, average or great, simply tie your player into a decent contract for several years that suits your club’s financial ability. Then and here’s the key part, simply add a “Get out clause”. This clause is a set price the club deem appropriate if the player is to draw attention to himself through a bright patch or blossoming into a real talent for the future. This is brilliant thinking from the club’s point of view but an absolute pain for the club hoping to poach the star at a reasonable price, especially if that club is Arsenal who pride themselves on not splashing out on players unnecessarily.
Which brings us to the latest twist in Arsenal’s season as the media continues to link several up-and-coming players with a possible move to the Emirates. The latest high-profile interest is Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze. The 19-year old is believed to have a release clause of £50m which will be a real test for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger who has put the German star at the top of his wanted list. The German club have also said that they are not willing to listen to offers until the summer which will again disrupt Wenger’s plans for the new year.
However, Dortmund’s price tag will not come as a surprise to Wenger who has begun to realise that these get-out clauses are becoming more common. It will test Wenger’s resolve and Gotze’s ability and skill will be under a huge amount of scrutiny as the Arsenal boss decides whether the player is worth the money and the hassle.
The fact that these clubs can put such a financial hold over their players seems wrong though. Price tags seem to change as often as the player in question changes his socks. Even average players are covered. Clubs have taken steps to ensure that if that individual had a blinding run of games, they can fully cash in on the situation rather than let them go cheap. That player then eventually becomes surplus to requirements when the fire fizzles out.
Wenger is under a huge amount of pressure to secure the signings needed to compete in all competitions but surely the old pro will deem this one a step too far as he witnesses a club taking advantage of the moment. It begs the question how transfers are going to continue happening at this rate. It would seem to point to a transfer structure coming into place to control ridiculous spending and over pricing of players who really are untried outside of their current clubs.
One thing is for sure, if Wenger backs down again, there are plenty of other wealthy European clubs interested to step in and whisk Gotze away from Dortmund regardless how much it costs.