On Thursday, we relayed a story from 20 Minutes in France about how Aymeric Laporte’s transfer from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City meant SU Agen, a small fifth-tier club on the brink of bankruptcy in France, made €650k, allowing them to keep the club afloat for the next 10 years or so.
The reason behind this financial windfall for the regional side is the ‘solidarity mechanism’ put in place by FIFA to reward clubs who helped develop players in the youth systems and ensure their efforts weren’t in vain.
How this works is a bit complicated, but we’ll try and explain as best we can.
According to FIFA rules, the formation of a young footballer takes place between the ages of 12 and 23 years of age, meaning that any club a footballer played for between that period of his career will be entitled to some compensation, subject to an international transfer.
For clubs who had a player for the seasons between their 12th and 15th birthdays, 0.25% of the transfer fee will be paid to that club for every season.
That means that SU Agen, who trained Aymeric Laporte up until he was 15, received 1% (0.25% per season for the four seasons he was there) of the €65m Manchester City paid to trigger his Athletic Bilbao clause, hence the €650k.
From the age of 15 onwards, the amount increases to 0.5% for every season up until he is 23.
That means that if a player spent his entire youth at one club, then that side will be entitled to up to 5% of the transfer fee.
For Cenk Tosun, for example, Eintracht Frankfurt, who had him between the ages of eight and 20, will receive around 3.5% of the transfer fee he went for in January.
Goal confirmed this, claiming the Bundesliga side will make €1.16m from his move from Besiktas to Everton.
One of the other big transfers in January saw Lucas go from Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham, with Lance reporting Corinthians were due 0.5% of his £28m fee (that’s what they have it as) or £140k, while Sao Paulo would get 2.75% or £770k.
Of course, that might not mean a lot for a fairly well off club, but for clubs like SU Agen, it’s potentially future changing.
Let’s take a closer look at the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deal, as the Gabon international spent a large chunk of his youth in French clubs like FC Rouen and SC Bastia.
While there has been no confirmation from those clubs as of yet, both fifth-tier sides should get some compensation, although the amounts aren’t clear.
Considering the Arsenal star spent four years at FC Rouen between the age of 12 and 15/16, they should be entitled to at least 0.75% of the transfer fee, meaning a minimum of £420k in their accounts if we all agree Aubameyang’s transfer fee was £56m.
As for SC Bastia, who were last year relegated from Ligue 2 to the fifth-tier after going bankrupt and where the 28-year-old played between 2005-2007, they could get anywhere between £280k and £560k.
Huge amounts for teams playing in regional leagues, which gives them an extra incentive to try and improve their local recruiting at youth level so that, down the line, they might end up with similar windfalls.
We like feel good stories, don’t you?