TransferRoom gives us more power, so we are less agent dependent. We have direct access to information, such as what is on the market and what clubs need. We consider this an investment, not an expense.
Summit shows what could have been
FK Sarajevo turned up at the TransferRoom Americas Summit in Orlando, Florida to find a host of MLS clubs in need of a left-back.
Only a month earlier they had sold academy graduate Selmir Pidro to St Louis City SC in time for the 2023 season.
Without access to football's digital marketplace, the Bosnian club had been unaware of the number of clubs looking for that profile of player they were ready to sell.
“We recently sold a player to MLS so being at the TransferRoom event in Orlando was an opportunity to meet more clubs from the league and bring a couple of our other players to the table.
“If we knew that three of clubs are now looking for left backs, maybe we could have bumped up the price and not sold our left back already,” exclaims Ivan Kepcija, former advisor to club President Ismir Mirvic (pictured together).
Frustrating, maybe, but now having access to TransferRoom means FK Sarajevo can be more informed about clubs' requirements worldwide, and not have to rely on intermediaries to pass on news about player availability.
Kepcija adds: “It’s all about information. Information is super valuable in our business. Being a selling club, availability of the network is crucial for us. TransferRoom gives us more power, so we are less agent dependent. We have direct access to information, such as what is on the market and what clubs need. We consider this an investment, not an expense. ”
FK Sarajevo sold Selmir Pidro to MLS only to find a potentially market for the player at a TransferRoom Summit
Breaking barriers in the Balkans
Fast reliable market information and direct access to a global network of decision makers are not how transfer business is traditionally done in the Balkans.
Kepcija explains: “The Balkans has mostly been agent based or just relationships you have personally as a club. When you are a Sporting Director somewhere you build relationships yourself regardless of club connections, but TransferRoom multiplies that. However good a Sporting Director you are, this just multiples all of your opportunities.”
And such opportunities created by connections made at TransferRoom Summits and on the digital marketplace will pay dividends for young players across the Balkans, according to Mirvic.
He tells TransferRoom: “Think of us as being the biggest club in the smallest market. Bosnia itself only has 3.5 million people, and Sarajevo has a million of those. Being the biggest brand in the smallest market, the recruitment happens all over the country and even in the region south of Bosnia, so Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia. That gives you the product for your academy that you then mold for numerous years.
“What we are doing now is really establishing that pipeline to be able to sell directly to some of those leagues, like MLS. TransferRoom will give us access to the ultimate buyer, not all these intermediaries that come to you with a different proposal. That is where you lose money.”