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The market work of football agents and the manifold valorizations of professional football players

Abstract : The dynamics of professional football today rest largely on market transactions, in the sense that financial negotiations with players and between clubs are among its most obvious working principles. The term “transfer market” refers to the very fluid contours of players’ mobility as they move from one club-employer to another. That mobility is underpinned by the so-called “limited time” contract introduced in 1973 – at the behest of player-employees – under State control in France (Wahl and Lanfranchi 1995), later spreading to all the countries of Europe (Kuypers and Szymanski 1999). Limited time contracts have replaced the life-time agreements that attached professional players to their clubs until age 35 (in other words for the duration of their entire career), and give them the right to negotiate limited contracts that can be terminated ahead of time in exchange for financial compensation (paid by the club “buying” the player from the original club). That development significantly transformed the rules governing professional careers as well as the competition and cooperation between clubs, where sports and economics are inextricably linked. [first paragraph]
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Didier Demazière, Morgan Jouvenet. The market work of football agents and the manifold valorizations of professional football players. Economic Sociology (European Electronic Newsletter), Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, 2013, 15 (1), pp.29 - 40. ⟨hal-01512300⟩

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