Why do football clubs use ‘undisclosed fees’ in transfer announcements? Meaning of the term explained


Imagine you don’t know the highest transfer fees because they are not disclosed. So why have “undisclosed fees”?

When there is a transfer in football, and especially of a big name, the first thing any fan wants to know is the amount of money involved in the transfer. However, fees are often not disclosed.

In 2013, the Premier League website published that only five of 115 permanent transfers (not including free transfers) had been disclosed with an official figure.

When such a term is used, it is difficult to assess whether it is a “windfall” or a “bankruptcy” for either party. Moreover, a journalist’s report may seem incomplete without the monetary details of the transfer.

So why is this term “undisclosed fees” used? OBJECTIVE look at the meaning and the reasons.

What is an ‘undisclosed fee’ in football transfers?

Where there is a permanent transfer of a player from one club to another, and there is a fee involved to trigger the transfer, the ‘undisclosed fee’ occurs when both parties (selling clubs and Buyers) agree that the charges should not be made public. .

Sometimes it is the player or his agent who consents or rather does not consent to the transfer fee being known to everyone.

Why do clubs use ‘undisclosed fees’ in transfer announcements?

When one of the clubs (buyer or seller) involved in the transfer does not want to reveal the amount they paid/received for a player, this becomes an ‘undisclosed charge’.

Another situation that may arise is where the player himself (or his agent) does not want the transfer fee to be disclosed.

Some clubs may not like to reveal how they feel compelled to pay for their prized possession, which in turn could anger fans for paying so much. Or, perhaps, if the selling club received less than they paid or expected for the player.

There are also reasons such as complications with additional clauses, incentives, add-ons, sale price, milestone payments, bonuses and more that also add to the mix.

What are the benefits of ‘undisclosed fees’ in football transfers?

The use of “undisclosed fees” has various advantages from the point of view of each party involved in the transfer of a player.

On the one hand, a player may like to be shielded from the pressure of playing solely based on (let’s assume) the expensive transfer tag attached to his name.

From a buying club’s perspective, if they’ve normally thrown money at signatures, they may not be comfortable with the numbers to be common knowledge, because that may inflate future prices charged to selling clubs.

More often than not, in a race to sign a player, a buying club may also end up paying more than might have initially been deemed reasonable, as they attempt to close the deal.

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