How the Bosman Ruling Changed Football


The Bosman Ruling enabled the modern
automatic free transfer. It dictates that a player is permitted to leave their
club at the end of their contract without the need to command a transfer
fee. The rule was introduced in 1995 after the consolidation of three
separate legal cases, all involving the Belgian midfielder Jean-Marc Bosman.
Before the ruling was introduced, clubs were under no constraints to let players leave at the end of their contracts without a transfer fee, though they could choose to
allow them to leave on a free transfer. Bosman’s contract with RFC Liege had
expired, and he was keen to move to Dunkirk. RFC Liege however asked for a transfer fee, in excess of what Dunkirk were willing to offer and the move fell apart. The Belgian
club then cut Bosman’s wages by seventy-five percent and refused to
sell him. Unable to move Bosman took the club, the Belgian FA and
eventually UEFA to court, before the court declared that the rule
restricted the free movement of workers as insured by the Treaty of the European
Union, thus the creation of the Bosman Ruling. The ruling significantly changed
the landscape of football, giving more power to the players. This resulted in three clear outcomes:
Greatly increased play wages. The rise of modern player agents and the enhanced
domestic dominance of the wealthier clubs. With players now able to move
without transfer fees the only way for suiting clubs to entice the best talent
was through offering more attractive salaries. A popular example of this is
Sol Campbell’s move to Arsenal. At Arsenal, in 2001, Campbell earned a Hundred
Thousand Pounds a week. A decade earlier nobody in Britain was even earning
£10,000 pound. With the increased wages, came the agents.
With the players earning ten times the amount they were a decade prior, there was
significantly more interest for agents and other middlemen, who was suddenly
involved in every aspect of player transfers and management, with much
larger income as their reward. Finally, the ruling also reinforced the
wealth divide between clubs. Club’s able to offer the best wages inevitably
collected the greatest hands. Smaller clubs suddenly had a severely reduced
ability to retain their best players as talent flooded to the top. The Bosman
Ruling stands out as a turning point in the history of football. In a positive
sense it enabled greater freedom for workers but in a negative sense, it
unintentionally morphed football into its current status, in which the clubs with
the deepest pockets have an even greater chance of winning.

46 thoughts on “How the Bosman Ruling Changed Football

  • Seriously dude, I just don't get it. Why don't you have hundreds of thousands of subscribers?? Your content is so good

  • These videos are awesome. I'm a student studying finance and find myself becoming increasingly more interested in the finance aspect of sport. Do you recommend any particular sites or books etc to have a greater grasp and appreciation of finances in today's world of sport? In particular, the top football European leagues? I'm just curious, keep up the awesome work!

  • Wow I had heard of the Bosman ruling but did not know about how it was implemented. The consequences of it are a lot clearer but I must say that it was unethical for his club to keep him tied down like that.

    I wonder if this is any similar to how NFL transfers are today.

  • So football wouldn't be dominated by money if Liege hadn't try to shaft 1 player who was likely earning under 5k per week. Fucking bastards

  • The only Youtube channel i watch basicly. So happy to be here from the start (Sort of). This channel will be a success!

  • If your point is that because richer clubs can offer larger contracts, the best players go to the rich clubs. Surely that happened before the Bosman ruling, because the richer clubs could just offer a larger transfer fee. To me, the Bosman ruling only affected clubs in the fact that they can't be cunts over contracts

  • Great video but your club having lots of money is also a function of how you run your business.

    Man United is successful because of how they build their business. Sure, these business tips are whispered into the ear of the board as they are bent over taking the Devil's willy in the bum, but good advice often comes from bad people.

    Arsenal are successful not because of the saintly qualities of the club and supporters, but because of the way they build and run their business.

    Newcastle should be a top, top club, but they run their business like hell.

    My point here is that it's disingenuous to ignore the effect quality of business planning and management on club success.

  • i see football history and see that the bigger clubs always had the money and higher win percentage also before the bosman , the clubs who had better money would make a deal with a lesser money club and would have been the same. at least the players are getting a fair say in that its should be like this and this rule made football better imo.

  • Does anyone know how Brexit might affect British clubs use of the Bosman ruling, since the court ruling relied on European Freedom of Movement… Something that British clubs wont be constrained by after 2019. I imagine at least 1 club would fight it to regain some power over players?

  • yah the irony is, the best channels here on youtube always have the lowest subscribers and viewers.
    cant believe Karl Marx was right! we really have become more stupid as technology increases.

  • There's always been a correlation between wage bill and on field success for decades in English football using data going back to the 70s – way before the EPL and Bosman. In a sense, the richer clubs have always won more.

    There is also very little correlation between transfer spending and league position/games won..

  • bosman ruling is generally something that should be given a Nobel peace prize. One guy changed the world of football

  • Lol.. refusing to let someone leave while he wants to go, but at the same time cutting his wages… quite strange we needed an ECJ judgment to find that that was not compliant with (EU) law. Seriously, every normal labour law will state that, if a worker is out of contract, the employer either has to let that person go or has to continue paying that person the salary that was agreed when signing the contract. So it's completely logic that this was the outcome of this case.

    However, I do wonder how the situation that even players who were out of contract couldn't just leave their clubs came into existence in the first place. Why was such a bizarre rule ever introduced and who did this? Maybe you could make a video on that… (if you haven't already of course 😉 )

  • When I watch a German football match, I want to see a considerable number (at least 6 per team) of German players. When in Spain, a considerable number of Spanish players. This leftist liberal ruling has deprived leagues of their national character. The premier league no longer feels like an English championship.

  • The thing I don't understand is why would a player not be free upon expiry of contract at first place. It's supposed to be a simple idea.

  • This is what football has broken, no fair football. Bosman arrest should not be accepted. It's not a normal 'job' and it's sad for people who have less money, season tickets are way to expensive and NO PLAYER SHOULD BE MORE WORTH THEN 80 MIL EU. I hope one day a political discussion will come and break down this rule. Max 5 foreign players just as in the old days, but say substitute 6 or 7 players instead of 5. It's really boring everytime the same clubs😩

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