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Seeking Soccer Talent, Club Executives Turn to Speed ​​Dating

The informal structure has led to a waste of as much as 10 percent, said Rasmus Ankersen, which would amount to as much as $ 700 million based on FIFA's total figures. The savings, he said, could be more transparent in the market, where the clubs more easily knew which players were available and the needs of other teams.

"There will always be a need for someone to represent the player, an agent, and who can market the player, negotiate their contract. Where the waste in football is what we call" club mediators "- those guys who are in the middle associate The clubs, keep the information and convey the agreements, it is in many cases an unnecessary expense, says Rasmus Ankersen.

Club-to-club meetings on a global level like the one held in London are unusual, the sharpness is related to the football's underlying paranoia, where clubs look to competitors with great suspicion.

"If you are signing up for sale, you can weaken your stance on the market," said Dan Ashworth, Brighton Football Manager, a small club that will compete in the Premier League for the third straight season.

Ashworth has recently returned to the football club after six years with England's national federation. new coach, Graham Potter, at the start of the season, and it's likely to mean more changes than usual when Brighton tries to build a squad that matches Potters preferences. When such changes occur, players who have once been indispensable can no longer fit. Such conversations can be sensitive and require careful handling before a player's accessibility for transmission can be communicated to the market, Ashworth says.

"You have to deal with people, it's not a product," he said, sitting in the tranquility of a quiet corner of Stamford Bridge, during a rare cradle on a full day. "So when you add a sales signal to a person, that person may not know they are for sale, may not know you want to move them, maybe not agree to move away. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't."

A while later, the clock sounded and Ashworth jumped to his feet. He had another date.

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