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Sevilla recouped €1m using Transfer Tracker now othclubs a

เวลาปล่อย:2023-01-24 เรียกดู: ขนาดตัวอักษร:ใหญ่ กลาง เล็ก 【ปิด】

WhenNewcastle signed Alexander Isak for €70millionfrom Real Sociedad last summer, it was a welcome windfall for theLa Ligaclub, and also very good news for all the Swedish forwards former clubs:Borussia Dortmund, Willem II and AIK.

Similarly, whenBarcelona signed Raphinha from Leeds Unitedfor €58million, Rennes, Sporting Lisbon, Vitoria Guimaraes and Brazilian side Avai got to share almost €3million of the transfer fee paid toLeedsbetween them due to their part in the wingers development.

This is because ofFIFAs solidarity mechanism, which mandates that a total of five per cent of every transfer fee must be paid to the clubs at which the player involved developed between the ages of 12 and 23.

Most clubs around the world are aware the solidarity mechanism exists, and the more switched-on move quickly to secure what they are due.

But claiming the money they are owed can be difficult, if not impossible, for teams who lack the knowledge or resources to go about filing the claim and proving their case. Often, smaller clubs who have lost track of their former youth teamers are not even aware that there is money they could be entitled to.

This could be about to change thanks to the new Transfer Tracker tool, which was initially developed byLa LigaclubSevillaand is now being made available to clubs worldwide by LaLiga Tech.

The Transfer Tracker permits the clubs and federations on a global level to benefit, so they do not miss out on any transfer that can bring them money, Sevillas chief data officer Elias Zamora tellsThe Athletic.

If you dont make a claim, you never get the money, as the buying club is never going to remind you.

At Sevilla, Zamora heads a team of seven data scientists, who include experts in computer science, physics and mathematics. They have developed a series of software applications for internal use AI Radar (for scouting), AI Football (for analysis), AI Ticketing (for marketing) and AI Tracking (which has now been rebranded as Transfer Tracker).

The impetus for the AI Tracking tool came not from director of football Monchis transfer team, but from the legal department which was finding it challenging to follow up on all the money Sevilla knew they were owed via FIFAs solidarity mechanism.

Most clubs still track player movement manually staff members keep an eye on the movements of all their former players during each transfer window which is time-consuming and particularly difficult for smaller clubs without resources, especially when there is a change of sporting director or academy chief.

Building an IT solution to track player movements systematically was relatively straightforward for Sevillas data team. More challenging was discovering the correct financial data involved, given how complex and secret many transfer dealings can be.

FIFA does not share the data in its transfer system with third parties, so Sevillas team used their knowledge and contacts within the global football market.

We have our own sources of data, independent of FIFA, Zamora says, carefully. There is some commercial data, some external sources, some internal. We cannot guarantee, not at all, that all transfer fees are correct. We might not know the exact fee paid, but we would have a certain intuition about what money was being moved.

Zamora says that, over the last 18 months, Sevilla brought in around €1million (0.9m; $1.1m) by identifying more than 700 movements of players who had been developed within the club.

The biggest sum was €150,000 owed fromReal MadridsellingSergio ReguilontoTottenhamin 2020, as Reguilon had spent the previous season on loan at Sevilla. This January, they are due around €10,000 from their former midfielder Matias Kranevitters move from Mexican club Monterrey to River Plate in Argentina. They could get significantly bigger payments if former youth-team players such asBryan Gil(at Tottenham Hotspur) or Sergio Rico (Paris Saint-Germain) move.

The amount depends, but normally we are talking about dozens or hundreds of thousands of euros, Zamora says. But if there are 700 transfers in which money has moved then it adds up.

Some of the extra financial gain is coming to Sevilla through their close relationship with LaLiga Tech, a company spun out of La Ligas internal technology department, in which IT multinational Globant has a 51 per cent share.

LaLiga Techs developers worked with Zamoras team to refine Sevillas internal AI Tracking tool and rebrand it as Transfer Tracker, a service clubs can use to identify claims.

Before launching the service, LaLiga Tech did an analysis with existing partner clubs in Spain, South America and Europe (including an English club outside thePremier League). They found that clubs could make an average total claim of €3.4million with the amounts much higher for clubs that developed numerous players later involved in big money transfers.

That was where we saw the potential of the application, says Marcos Gonzalez, value proposition manager at LaLiga Tech, which claims there could be up to €1billion owed worldwide that is yet to be claimed.

Since the Transfer Tracker was fully launched in December, Gonzalez says contracts have been signed with seven clubs in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, while another 15 clubs across England, Portugal, Croatia and Poland are interested in using the service. There are a lot of clubs who develop players and currently have problems identifying what they are due, Gonzalez says. With this system, it is a win/win for all parties.

The service could be particularly useful to clubs who develop lots of young players, and those who act as stepping-stones before big-money moves to the top leagues.

For example, Porto would have been due a six-figure fee last summer whenCasemirojoinedManchester Unitedfrom Real Madrid as he spent the 2014-15 season on loan at the Portuguese side.

La Liga clubsElche,Rayo Vallecano,MallorcaandBarcelonawill be due money fromAlex Morenos move fromReal BetistoAston Villathis month, as well as Catalan clubs Vilafranca and Llagostera.

We can provide the service to the very top clubs or to very small clubs, Gonzalez says. We have developed templates and forms so that it is as easy as possible for the club to receive what they are due. I spoke recently with an African club that had practically no structure (for this) and if they allow we can make the claim in the name of a club.

LaLiga Tech is processing the first claims being made by clubs. Gonzalez says the length of the process depends on how friendly the club that owes money is when it comes to accepting their responsibility.

If clubs respond rapidly as they are professional and understand their responsibilities we can be processing the first payments in two weeks, he says. If they try to obstruct it, the process is taken to FIFA. If necessary, legal action can be taken. There is no way of dodging their responsibilities.

LaLiga Tech takes a percentage of the money the development club receives, part of which is shared with Sevilla under their agreement. Both said the terms are confidential, but Gonzalez says it is a lot less than clubs previously ended up paying if they hired legal experts to fight a case they may or may not have won.

FIFA has also taken steps to help clubs receive the money they are due via the solidarity mechanism. Under FIFA rules, all players must have an electronic player passport showing the clubs they have been registered with since they were 12, which can be used during the solidarity mechanism process.

Since last November, all transfers must go through the FIFA clearing house, which in theory manages the payment of the sums due for all transfers from that date. FIFA president Gianni Infantino told the FIFA congress during the 2022 World Cup that this would help smaller clubs to receive what they are owed.

Gonzalez says this is a step in the right direction. However, he adds that player passports are not always complete or correct, systems used by different national federations are not always compatible, and historical transfers are not covered at all.

We hope FIFA manages to bring in their own system, it would be good news for football, Gonzalez says. But in the meantime, we will keep helping everyone, especially the smaller clubs who develop players, to get the money they are due.

FIFA estimated in November that close to $400million should be distributed each year to clubs through the solidarity system but that, in reality, more than $300million is being kept annually generally by richer clubs taking advantage of those with fewer resources who either do not know or cannot access the money they are owed.

Making sure the solidarity payments are actually paid should be a general positive. The clubs who develop young players get more money, which they can invest in better coaching and infrastructure, helping them develop emerging stars, who move for more money in future, and the circle continues.

The solidarity mechanism will spread money to other competitions and in the end bring about more fairness within the transfer market, Gonzalez says. The clubs who develop the players can receive what they are really entitled to. There will be some cases where we lose money, but others in which we win. And with this balance, we can make the world of football a little bit fairer.

(Top image: Sergio Reguilon, one of the players Sevilla recouped money for; photo by Naomi Baker via Getty Images)

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Dermot joined The Athletic in 2020 and has been our main La Liga Correspondent up until now. Irish-born, he has spent more than a decade living in Madrid and writing about Spanish football for ESPN, the UK Independent and the Irish Examiner.Follow Dermot on Twitter@dermotmcorrigan