The evolution of the oft debated Third-Party Ownership practise has coincided with a rise in a globalisation of sorts where international football is concerned. Where we previously had players moving to a certain grouping of leagues in an attempt to establish themselves in Europe, we now have players being more incentivised to play for globally less reputable sides and only move to clubs where they know they will play regularly in the shop window for bigger European sides and hopefully be on the move in less than a couple of seasons with some good displays.
These often shockingly grand transfers are orchestrated by figures that have a personal financial interest in the players and are looking to increase their return on investment, the clubs are often enticed to sign these players as they are made available on financial packages that make room for less financial risk on their end as they often have to pay far less in wages and still secure top level talent at a good rate with a percentage of profit retained from an inevitable sale.
I can attest to TPO making the lives of talented young footballers and their families better while taking the onus of securing a big move overseas off the player a tad as he now inherits a marketing machine that seeks to market him to the clubs who play at the level his potential dictates he should be at. These moves can often make a great career for a football player as we have seen with the highly debated moves of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano or the moves of Santos superstars Robinho and Neymar in recent times. Yet there are always two sides to the coin, there is a Ganso or Diego or Carlos Alberto for every Neymar or Robinho or Hulk; there is a Leandro Damião waiting to be exploited and ultimately disappointed while still being well remunerated for a Radamel Falcao in the same situation on a grander stage with larger expectations.
There is a lot to be admired about the principle of TPO, yet the underlying value of profit over true progression has begun to rear its head in a growing industry that was inevitably going to attract more associates with even crueller intentions; the time has come for leagues and federations across the fraternity to welcome this practise fully in an attempt to regulate which TPO organizations they will deal with. It may seem like a long shot, but I’d rather have clubs dealing with those TPO groups that seek to allow top level ready young players to move to clubs where their transition will be made easier and their talents will be afforded a fair opportunity to shine than watch talent go wasted because somebody felt they wouldn’t get enough profit off a specified move to a certain team in a particular league for whatever reason.
There have been gaffers who have made no secret of their dislike for the TPO practise and all it encompasses as they feel they shouldn’t be held random by clubs, players, families and outside influences when it comes to transfer negotiations; I honestly respect that stance, but also acknowledge that there is enough talent in the sea to keep everybody happy with what they have in their arsenal. TPO have made the transfer market far more interesting as clubs can secure players they previously could never have dreamed of acquiring; with some regulation and education on all sides, we could potentially find a way to keep even more clubs competitive and still employ these ambiguous Financial Fair Pay rules and regulations that seem to balance the unbalanced transfer market scales in global football.