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All that glitters is not gold

Money is a decisive factor influencing the squad of every professional football club, including Athletic,…

All that glitters is not gold
All that glitters is not gold
Jun 28, 201809:58

Money is a decisive factor influencing the squad of every professional football club, including Athletic, whose budget has to take the financial constraints of top-tier football into account, just like any other club. However, unlike its other rivals, Athletic has set itself a rule that even further conditions the choice of footballers for its teams. The club’s century-old philosophy crucially limits the use of available capital, to the point that Athletic is the only club in the world that would not sign Messi, if that were hypothetically to be an option. And Messi is just one of an endless list of footballers who would not be in line with the club’s sporting philosophy.

This constraint that distinguishes Athletic from the others has a range of positive implications as it keeps the club away from some of the dangers of the tyranny of money in the world of football. These include the danger of investment funds. A considerable number of footballers from outside Europe, particularly Latin America, are signed up by European teams thanks to the intervention of an investment fund. In other words, a third party, not a club but rather an investment fund, bought a percentage of the economic rights of a footballer at the start of his career.  When that club sells that player to Europe, the third-party therefore gets paid that percentage as profit.

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