Gone are the days of archaic, long-winded processes. Transfers in and out of LaLiga, such as those of Reinier or Raúl De Tomás this winter, are powered by modern technology.
LaLiga fans worldwide have been closely following their club’s transfer business this summer. But have you ever wondered how the transfer process actually works from the inside?
For example, when Real Madrid signed Reinier from Flamengo, or Espanyol picked up Raúl De Tomás from Benfica this January… how did both directors go about officially completing the deal and registering the player with LaLiga?
Firstly, and very importantly, the process is digitalised. Since summer 2016, Spanish clubs now use a software application called LaLiga Manager to conduct all incoming or outgoing player trades. Over 2,000 transfers have been managed using the software, which makes the process of buying and selling players more straightforward, more sensible and more secure.
LaLiga Manager is an online tool which provides club officials carrying out a transfer with all documents to be filled in or uploaded, ensuring each deal is completed correctly using precise and verifiable information. It also contains all FIFA, UEFA and LaLiga regulations to be complied with whether the incoming player is a free agent if a fee is paid or a release clause triggered.
The bespoke application is very easy and intuitive to use. Club officials log in from any location and are directed through a straightforward process, inputting information in the relevant spaces and selecting options from pull-down menus. Just as if they were using their personal online banking system on their phone or booking a plane or train ticket over the web.
So, in the case of Reinier or De Tomás, once the deal had been agreed with respective selling clubs and contract terms were finalised with the players themselves, a Real Madrid or Espanyol official would have opened up LaLiga Manager to communicate all the details to LaLiga. If a player is moving between LaLiga clubs, the selling club must first withdraw the player, via the app. That could be the case of En-Nesyri, who moved from Leganes to Sevilla this winter.
Data would have been inputted to cover all elements of the move, including the transfer fee paid to Flamengo or Benfica, the terms of the footballer’s contract, any agent details and all taxes due. This must be done whether a club is doing business with a fellow LaLiga team or a foreign club, and also when a youth team player is being registered with the senior side. Even a passport-style photo of the player will have been uploaded for use on his official LaLiga license. When the clubs handed the players their respective numbers, this is where they made it official.
Once the club had completed the process to request Reinier or De Tomás be registered as their player, an executive from LaLiga’s Competitions team used LaLiga Manager to review all the documentation, checking that everything was correct and all relevant regulations had been followed.
All transfers are also studied by LaLiga to ensure conformity with Spanish football’s ‘economic controls’ regulations. These ensure clubs stick to agreed squad costs for each season. This helps LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs live within their means, keeping staff costs at around 50% of their total budget. In this case, LaLiga gave the green light to sign Reinier and De Tomás, as Real Madrid and Espanyol had sufficient space in their agreed 2019/20 budget for his transfer fee and salary. It’s worth noting that LaLiga does not impose salary restrictions, though; clubs can spend their money as they please as long as they do not overspend their agreed limits.
When the deal involves two Spanish clubs, the selling club also use LaLiga Manager to verify all the details entered by their counterpart. LaLiga’s competitions team then again review how the deal affects its agreed economic controls. State of the art security ensures that all sensitive information within this official channel is kept completely safe.
The LaLiga Manager system ensured that Reinier and De Tomas’ transfers went through without a problem. All they need to do now is start repaying their transfer fee.