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FIFA President Gianni Infantino may not be entirely successful in implementing transfer reforms, says CIES' Pierre Cornu

When Gianni Infantino was elected as the FIFA President in 2016, one of his many priorities was to curb spiralling transfer fees. Ironically, since his election, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona combined have spent €652 million on just four players. PSG shelled out €222 million and €180 million for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe respectively while Barcelona spent €105 million and €145 million respectively on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.

According to a Reuters report, FIFA has proposed the use of an "algorithm to calculate transfer fees as well as a luxury tax and a limit on the number of players who can be loaned" to regulate the transfer window.

 FIFA President Gianni Infantino may not be entirely successful in implementing transfer reforms, says CIES Pierre Cornu

Representational image. Reuters

However, according to the president of the CIES' Foundation Council Pierre Cornu, FIFA may ultimately not be entirely successful in fulfilling its aim. Incidentally, the algorithm through which FIFA is supposed to calculate transfer fees, has been designed by the CIES Football Observatory.

"CIES analyses transfer fees, but if we say a particular player is valued at €100 million on the transfer market, this doesn't mean we decide that fee (as the final one). We say that it is a good idea to pay €100 million for that player.

"Ultimately, the price of a player is what clubs are ready to pay for. So if clubs are ready to pay €200 million for Neymar, then you will not prevent them from paying that amount anyway," said Cornu, who was in Mumbai for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA-CIES and the Pillai Group to launch the FIFA-CIES Executive Program in Sports Management.

Cornu also believes that clubs quoting high prices for selling their top players are well within their rights given the amount of time and resources used to develop a particular player. If FIFA does look to curb transfer fees, clubs selling players would end up not getting their just dues.

"Clubs which train players would be at a disadvantage. If a club trains a player for many years, why shouldn't they be paid for those years of training or the experience that the player got playing for the club. At least the money from the transfers stays in football and will finance clubs," Cornu said.

FIFA's proposed implementation of luxury tax is based on the MLB and NBA's use of the same to limit the spending power of teams. Another possible solution proposed is the implementation of salary caps which has been employed by the NFL, NHL and the Indian Premier League.

However, Cornu opines that such systems might be difficult to implement in the football market given the number of football leagues in the world and the vast difference in spending power of clubs across the world. Moreover, the Swiss lawyer believes that such a system is unfair to players who might not get what they deserve.

"The football market is similar to a normal industry market. You have one guy who is the best in a business. He gets an offer of €5 million a year from another company. The company where he works gives him €2 million. Then why shouldn't he earn €5 million? His company is making profit off him, so why shouldn't he get more money for that?"

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Updated Date: Dec 03, 2018 21:17:56 IST

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