The Champions League has proven to be one of the key incentives for players looking to move to a top European club. The aspiration for trophies will always be there but the Champions League has seemingly taken over from the World Cup as the premier competition in world football. But Uefa are looking to make significant movements once again as they look to ban players owned by third parties from the competition. A positive move for all concerned, or an issue that will fall by the wayside to others?
This issue in England was brought up when Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez arrived in the Premier League in controversial fashion. Players owned by third parties and who were deemed ineligible to play. A step further is the banning of such players from Europe’s elite competition, one which has been brought up by officials in England and France. A concern, of course, as it firstly distorts a club’s expenditure against the Financial Fair Play ruling and in turn hands the club an unfair advantage, something which then spills over into the Champions League. A Premier League official stated, “It threatens the integrity of competitions, reduces the flow of transfer revenue contained within the game and also allows external influences on a player’s transfer decisions.” Where England have already made positive steps against these types of players, other European leagues continue to allow for them to compete.
But where does the importance of Uefa’s action come into play? It’s in the fact that third parties often hold too much control over their players. Much of the time they are in a position to give out instructions as to when and where the player is allowed to play and, of course, restrict his participation for clubs competing in the Champions League. As Uefa’s current guidelines suggest, it does not prohibit investors buying stakes in players, as long as they have no control over where they play. The line between what investors demand and when they take a position in the background can become screwed, however, due to the continued interfering they have been known to have on the decisions a player makes. It gets around third parties telling them they can’t play in European competition but it doesn’t disguise the fact that they poorly advise players in their transfers from club to club. By Uefa taking action and banning players from the competition anyway, it gives players such as Carlos Tevez an incentive to part ways with their associates. A positive move on all levels and one which eradicates negative and poisonous influences in a players career.
As it’s been suggested, the Champions League is a great incentive to wave in front of players and attract top talent, as well as a great added bonus for players arriving in Europe from South America—where third party ownership is common place. But giving clubs utmost control over their players is an important and positive step in modern football and something which should be paramount in European competition.