Sports lawyer reveals all
As the January transfer window heads towards its final 24 hours, find out what’s going on behind the scenes as sports lawyer Daniel Geey reveals all.
At what stage of a transfer would you get involved?
By the time I am involved in a deal, almost always the commercial terms have been agreed – the wages, agents’ commission fees and particular bonuses to be included, or clauses added in like around relegation or releasing a player. I tend to be provided the documents from the club, I usually act for the players and or agents in order to review them and make sure what has been agreed has been set out in the contract. My usual approach is to prefer not to be near training grounds or boardrooms so that I can review everything in the cold light of day in front of a screen in my office.
So there is plenty of reading to keep you busy?
There are almost two stages – one to get all of the documents signed in time, the second is the submission and registration process, with international transfers there is a FIFA element… work permits can need to be applied for or there might be image rights to deal with. The documentation is quite heavy and needs to be negotiated to a decent degree.
Does anyone still really use a fax machine?
I can’t say I have sent a fax for a number of years! A lot of my informal communication and correspondence is all on WhatsApp and messaging. With a lot of my clients, if they are players, agents, individuals, generally the ‘toing and froing’, going back and forth on commercial terms is done instantaneously. That is the way the world is moving, which needs instant responses and makes sure everyone is available at the drop of a hat.
Is there ever a deal-breaker in the detail?
There is very few things in contracts which I see that I say is such a ‘no no’, that we can’t necessarily do it. A lot of the time, so long as people are logical and rational in what I am asking with the requests I am making, then the other side will, on the whole, try to be accommodating, to understand the structure of how commission payments are made or the clauses, or something which was agreed in outline, then said in a different way in a contract… and you always want to try to protect your clients as much as possible.