An Expensive Player and an Alcoholic

Something written a long time ago, way back when Bale was sold to Real Madrid. Thought it might be fun to read considering the highly irritating nature of the coutinho saga.


Often the question is asked why is there so much cash thrown at players, once upon a time a transfer fee going into double figures was considered an outrage more than anything else, Shearer being a landmark moment even he denied that in no way was he worth even close to the 15 million spent bringing him to his boyhood club. That’s not the conversation we are going to have today though.

Todays analysis will be about how supposedly the evolution of the “expensive player” stemmed from the bosman ruling.

Jean-Marc Bosman was a player for Royal Football Club de Liège (RFC Liège) up until the year 1990, where the midfielder decided to look for a new place to ply his trade, dunkirk based french club USL Dunkerque who were keen to bring him on board, so the two parties started talking and an arrangement was suggested.

They came across a stumbling block, as it turns out RFC liege had a price tag on bosman that Dunkerque were not willing to pay (as were the ways then) So as a result they moved on and looked elsewhere, and bosman was left with an unhappy employer who subsequently reduced his wages and was demoted to the reserve team. This presented a clear problem for bosman and he has to act quickly, notifying the EU court of justice and subsequently a collection of litigious and boring people examined the situation, deciding that “restrictions will be banned on foreign EU players within national leagues and allowed players in the EU to move to another club at the end of a contract without a transfer fee being paid”

This event coincided with a newly established cash flow coming into football, and the rule was fully established in 1995 and it is said that this revolutionised the world of football, changed the attitudes of clubs and player, empowering agents and “playing staff” to negotiate much more financially healthy deals benefitting them and the agents directly, leaving clubs unable to profit from the development of players and academies. Now such an amount of money changing hands is regarded more as a fashion statement, a political point to ensure you are favourite for the next presidential election.

Where is Bosman now?

The work he done to resolve this dispute resulted in him becoming reasonably wealthy, but mentioned cash was invested poorly and the resulting impact triggered a descent into depression and alcoholism, he now according to sources lurks in jail, as he was on the business end of a year’s sentence for reacting furiously to his girlfriend’s refusal to supply him with a alcoholic drink.

The man who created a revolution, benefited the least from it.