Transfer negotiation expert: 4 top tips for selling a player
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Transfer negotiation expert: 4 top tips for selling a player
by Jack Hyom

Knowing how to negotiate transfers effectively can save millions. But how can decision-makers at selling clubs ensure they negotiate the right deal for their player? An expert who has worked with some of the world's biggest clubs explains.

You want the other party, or parties hopefully, anchored to your valuation. So go high, go high as you think you can do, because you can always go back down. So don't be too conservative, be bold. Especially if you're going early.
Dan Hughes
Transfer Negotiation Expert, Bridge Ability

Maximising return on investment and the value of the first-team squad is a crucial key to success for CEOs and other decision-makers at clubs all over the world, and negotiating the right terms in the transfer market makes a massive difference. 

 

Dan Hughes, a Transfer Negotiation Expert at Bridge Ability, which include Premier League giants Chelsea and Liverpool among their list of clients, knows what it takes to strike the best deal. He has also given us his keys to success for buying clubs when negotiating transfers.

 

Hughes gives his top tips for selling clubs when negotiating transfers in the video below.

 

 

1. Getting the timing right is key

 

"It's timing in two aspects. One is within the player's contract, of course. This makes a huge difference in terms of valuation.

 

"But be proactive and make sure you're selling when it's right for you, not when it's right for any other parties in the negotiation. Also, in terms of timing as part of the same tip, if it's within a window.

 

"So, if they are still in contract, which of course is desirable. Then, when in the window does it work for you to sell them. Typically, I would advise to do it early in the window. You want to get your business done as early as possible."

 

2. Get your valuation out early

 

"Now this works in your favour as a selling club, because there's an expectation that the selling club will place a valuation on the player.

 

"This is good, this is exactly what you want in any type of negotiation, because you want to get your valuation out early. Anchoring is the concept here.

 

"You want the other party, or parties hopefully, anchored to your valuation. So go high, go high as you think you can do, because you can always go back down. So don't be too conservative, be bold. Especially if you're going early.

 

"If you've got it pre-conditioned earlier in the season, you don't have to wait for the window of course. Go as high as you dare, because you can move and as you move down you can get other conditions, possibly, with the buying club.

 

"Think about how you actually present the number. Don't just go high, but you want to present it with some credibility. I see too much of numbers like £50 million, £60 million or £100 million.

 

"The problem with those really round numbers is, by definition, they've been rounded, and if they've been rounded, they can be moved. So what you want to make sure is that your valuation is as firm, or it comes across as firmly as possible."

 

3. Be in control of negotiations with agents

 

"You need to manage the agent, the intermediary. They can of course have a huge influence over the negotiation. You have to remember this player is your asset.

 

"So you have to be in control of what happens with the agent wherever possible. Think about how you need to manage through, or not through, the agent.

 

"And every negotiation that you have sets the tone for your next negotiation, not just with that player and agent, but with others. It sends signals about to what extent you're prepared to be dictated to by the likes of agents and intermediaries, so you have to manage the agent."

 

4. Manage the whole process on your terms

 

"You need to manage the whole process. One of our straplines is, 'You're in control'. This is especially true for a selling club because, after all, it's your player and it should happen on your terms.

 

"Now, things happen and circumstances get in the way of that, but nevertheless, that should be your mindset from the outset. So you're in control, you manage the whole process and it happens on your terms."

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