Experts become little stars, there are special programs on TV, a website is one of the big hits in Germany. The transfer market is an extraordinary spectacle. In the end, all sides benefit.
The spectacle culminates again on Friday. The specially devised Deadline Day is something like the holiday of the football business.
The industry pats itself on the back for having turned over as many hundreds of millions of euros as possible and presenting the new star to the fans at the last second. Experts are tweeting, TV stations are reporting live, and the clubs are bustling with activity. The theater on the transfer market has become a pillar, carrying an entire business model through the once bland summer break.
One of the biggest players has even established a branding slogan. When Fabrizio Romano sends a “Here we go” into the world on the short message service X, his more than 18 million followers know that another deal is perfect. As a rule, long before the computers in the press departments of the clubs were even booted up. “The transfer market has changed completely,” the journalist from Italy once told the magazine “11Freunde”. Depending on the transfer, up to 25 people are involved in a deal these days.
Leaks as a topic of conversation
“In certain situations, one of the parties can play into the cards if information becomes public, for others it can make negotiations more difficult,” said Leipzig’s sports director Max Eberl of the German Press Agency. “It has definitely happened in the past that negotiations have stalled and become more difficult due to them becoming public.”
But of course the leaks help football, it remains a topic of conversation. This summer, thanks to the chewing gum transfer from superstar Harry Kane to FC Bayern, you almost didn’t even notice that the Bundesliga was actually on the summer break. There was supposedly a new stand several times a day. “Depth is no longer of interest. It’s only interested in the news, which may be overtaken in an hour,” said media scientist Jana Wiske from Ansbach University of Applied Sciences.
The managers aren’t the biggest fans of the rumor mill, though. “Loose interests are sold as hot news. Unfiltered reporting, which sometimes means that you have to manage all sorts of expectations,” said Sven Mislintat, technical director of Ajax Amsterdam, the dpa. Eberl described the constant indiscretions in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” as a catastrophe. “Sometimes it seems to us that our offers are already being tweeted before we’ve sent them off,” said the 49-year-old.
“Also a bit showbizz”
In any case, the fan is gripped by this catastrophe, which Eberl can understand. He doesn’t close his eyes to the fact that “football is also a bit of showbizz.” With 175 million visits, the transfermarkt.de website was the eleventh most-visited German website in July. The broadcaster Sport1 has a transfer market show, competitor Sky broadcasts the “Transfer Update” twice a week.
In order to create more transparency on the financial level, Eberl and Mislintat advocate disclosure of all figures analogous to US sport, including salaries. “Then you could evaluate the sporting performance on the pitch and in management based on the financial possibilities,” said Mislintat.
Player advisor Stefan Backs, whose clients include Alexander Nübel, is bothered by the fact that reporting has lost “any measure” – due to social media. As an example, he cited FC Bayern’s search for a new goalkeeper. It felt like 15 candidates were named. Only the name of Daniel Peretz, who was ultimately committed, did not appear.
The balls are passed to each other
However, the reach of people like Romano is also deliberately used by consultants. The 30-year-old told an anecdote when two teams were in the race for a player. “When I reported a possible offer from one club, the other club called the agent two minutes later to fix the deal,” said Romano.
When consultants, clubs and the media pass each other the ball, the main actors are sometimes left out. “It’s wild how well some of them are informed and you sometimes notice in your own person that a rumor arises somewhere and afterwards you realize that you’re really interested,” said national player Niclas Füllkrug of the dpa. “And it’s crazy that the clubs are more likely to talk to other people than to those affected.”
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.