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Should Premier League teams add minimum release clauses to player contracts?



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In every transfer window, Continental Clubs launch a blitz of media attacks to unsettle the Premiership’s best players hoping to take them away. At some time or another they have the English Clubs bullied into submission in letting go off their start performers.

We, the fans, are sick and tired of this but we know we are helpless. But have we and the clubs been turning a blind eye to the answer that has been in front of us?

When Thierry Henry joined Barcelona, the Catalan giants proudly made it known that there was a €125 Million release clause in Henry’s contract.

Release Clause is a clause in a player’s contract which sets a minimum fee that a club must bid in able to buy that player. If a club bid’s the minimum fee set in a player’s contract in an initial payment, his club cannot block the bid and must allow the bidder to talk to the player. Players with a minimum fee release clause can still be sold for less that the set fee, at the club’s discretion.

The Spanish League has been using release clauses for some time now. The Portuguese, French and some other European leagues also use it to some extent. However, it is not widely practiced in the Premiership. If clubs in the EPL introduced this measure they may find it easier to cope with the threats of their star players leaving.

So how exactly will the release clause help? Well, the clubs benefit because they will put a large fee in a player’s contract that they don’t want to let go of. Therefore, they will receive a inflated amount for the player with which they maybe able to replace him. Also, the player would not be able to complain because the club can tell the player that he should have considered this before signing the contract.

Of course, there are the obvious problems as well. Notably, the biggest problem would be an inflated player price because every club will have their own valuations of their star players. It won’t be limited to star players only, sometimes one-season wonders maybe find themselves with new deals that incorporate release clauses. However,

the beauty of release clauses is that whenever Continental clubs raid the English shores, we can welcome them with open arms and tell them: “Pay up or Bug off!”