Out of contract? How Rangers players are in line for massive riches

Out of contract? How Rangers players are in line for massive riches
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: John Lundstram of Rangers is seen at full time during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In some earlier entries Ibrox Noise has touched on signing on fees, and we promised to explore further the impact of these on Rangers players and their futures, both incoming from Ibrox and outgoing.

In this piece we break the situation down and how it affects the likes of John Lundstram and Borna Barisic, both of whom are linked heavily with free agency exits to Turkey.

In simple terms when Belgium’s Jean-Marc Bosman won his court case against Standard Leige in 1995, it massively changed the rules of transfers and football forever, and naturally, the man who created millionaires in football thanks to his case, Bosman himself, ended up a pariah and an outcast.

Fundamentally, before that ruling, players contracted to a team were that team’s property for good, even when the contract was over. The player still was tied to that team and had to rely on a courting team paying his employer a fee.

Bosman took that to court, and won, meaning the end of the contract became freedom of contract. His name was into folklore, and became synonymous with that kind of transfer.

So, how does it affect Rangers, particularly Lunny and Barisic?

Well, the reason these players have huge power now is that they know they can run down their deal, and pick their next club, at their volition and agency, with a cherry on top:

By being able to cherry pick their next club, and having freedom of agency, they can negotiate a signing on fee – in other words, a legal bribe.

What is this signing on fee? John Lundstram can say to Trabzonspor or anyone else, yes I will join you, on your £25,000pw salary, but you need to compensate me for the £10,000 I believe I am losing on that by way of a fat up-front payment.

This is the catch, and why free agency isn’t actually that free for the signing team – they still have to pay a ‘transfer fee’, but now it’s to the player himself and not the team he’s coming from.

That fee could be anything from £500K to £5M depending on the calibre of the player.

Or that player can say give me the full £35K-40,000 a week wage and forego the signing on fee.

In short, Bosman’s victory gave players massive, massive financial power, power they didn’t have before 1995.

Who was the real winner?

Well the clubs did have an unfair monopoly on players’ careers, in the sense that they had to stay with said club unless a bid came in. This meant they might have to tolerate being unhappy because they had no power to leave.

But Bosman himself believes the power shifted too far to the players, who have become disgustingly rich and have far too much sway because of the ruling he brought about. This outcome wasn’t his intention at all.

But base point, Lundstram or Barisic are in line for sweet signing on fees, just as Morelos, Arfield, Kent and Helander got last season.

Bosman free signings really aren’t that free for clubs at all…

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