Unprofessional Foul


August 19, 2010

I Have No Clue How Italian Transfers Work

Had to show it again. Sorrrryyyyy

Yesterday saw Kevin-Prince Boateng belong to three different teams in 24 hours, made notable from the fact that one Serie A team signed him only to immediately loan him to another.

Perhaps it’s a money-laundering trick held over from the old skulduggery days of Italian soccer, or maybe it’s just quality business. I’m not the man to parse it out.

Boateng moved from Portsmouth to Genoa initially for an undisclosed fee (thought to be around £5m), and was then shipped to Milan on a year-long deal with a buy-out option for a permanent transfer. And so, Genoa could end up making a decent profit on KPB without him ever having played for their team, which is bizarre enough, or they’ll get him to begin the 2011-12 season should he perform poorly for the Rossonieri this coming year.

For Milan, it seems like the ultimate hedge, and honestly, there are worse things a club can do with a wage packet. Let someone else pay the transfer fee and then promise a bigger fee somewhere down the road while still coming away with the player. Could this be a tactic a lot of teams use now that money’s a little tighter? Or is this just some weird Italian thing?

To close out, an interesting soundbite from Genoa owner Enrico Preziosi about the deal: “Our club must have good relations with the big clubs. Boateng will be a Genoa player but will not play with us. We’ll see what club we can find an agreement with.”

Pretty sure that Genoa have as much right to players as any other team in the league, and that you’re allowed to be competitive. Having good relations with the big clubs sounds to me like you want to be in their good graces so as to catch any scraps falling from their dinner table. You don’t owe them anything, Genoa. Enjoy watching KPB having a tidy season in someone else’s shirt, I guess.

About the Author

James T


  1. Outside Mid

    Didn’t an MLS side do this with a Chivas player recently? Didn’t understand that one either.

  2. Precious Roy

    Apology accepted.

  3. Yeah, no worries buddy

  4. James T

    Jeez, you guys

  5. teeknuts

    Oh hey, what’s going on in this thread…


  6. bergkampesdios

    Wasn’t there a discussion on the last foulcast about Terry not being washed up? Cause I just watched the first twenty seconds of PR’s glorious clip, and, well, THAT IS STILL F**KING HILARIOUS.

  7. hey Teek, where’s that clip from? is that Modric coming back to the locker room to find Gallas hanging out?

  8. teeknuts

    @alex No idea. It’s from the internet.

  9. Tno

    If Friedel was in goal we would have would have made the Semis…. I said it.

  10. George

    Its called co-ownership, its something which has been around for a long time but is (so far) unique to Italian and South American football. The idea is a big team pays a fee to own 50% of a player (usually a promising youth prospect) for a certain period of time, say 1 or 2 seasons. During that time the player will remain at his current club and the co-owning club will basically observe his progress and decide if it is worth buying him outright. After the 2 seasons have passed both clubs will bid for the other 50% of the player, and whoever bids most will own him fully. If the co-owner doesn’t make a bid then the player stays at his old club.

    This practice is beneficial to the big clubs because they don’t risk so much money when they gamble on youth prospects and can walk away from bad players without having to sell them on, and its beneficial to the small clubs because they get a lump sum of money which can be used for paying wages and they still get to keep the player for at least a season or two, and may even get to keep the player permanently.

  11. James T

    Thanks much George for clearing this up!

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