While Jean-Marc Bosman lives on benefits and in his council run property, many footballers will be deciding about their next big move this summer, or which super car they should buy to complement their ever expanding fleet. Little attention or credit is ever given to the man who fault for their freedom and who has subsequently changed the landscape for footballers, and who has made them richer beyond their wildest dreams.
The players now call the shots at football clubs and are controlling the contract situations, while parasite agents tout their client out from club to club in order to get a new club or bigger deal. I’m sure this wasn’t Bosman’s intention when he first set out in the courts to fight his right to freedom, but the subsequent change in EU Law has created the beast we are not witnessing now.
A staggering 109 players who were registered for Premier League football are out of contract at the end of this season resulting in many clubs looking to either move them on in the summer or risk making a loss in May. There will be plenty of chances to earn a new contract for the future Bosman players, but having now let their contracts run down to just over six months remaining, perhaps the clubs are eager to get rid of them.
The list of out-of-contract players is not just packed with squad players and bit-part first team members, but star internationals that have brought a lot to the Premier League in the past five years or so.
At the end of last season there was not a huge rush to snap up free signings from the Premier League as there was very little to choose from. Hargreaves, Ba and McFadden were about as glamorous as it got last May but this year a team could be built solely from free signings that could well finish in the top half of the league. A club could spend their whole transfer budget on wages for these players and have a better side than most in the Premier League next season.