Young and in demand: The legality of buy-out clauses in Spanish football contractsLloyd Thomas
Before that, the largest transfer fee ever paid for a player was the €105 million Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in the summer of 2016. The fee that Paris Saint-Germain paid to secure the services of the Brazilian captain was more than twice that amount. As part of the deal, Neymar is reportedly paid €30 million a year after tax – equivalent to around £520,000 a week.
Barcelona had previously stated that the player was not for sale. Yet the player’s employment contract contained a buy-out fee of €222 million, which Paris Saint-Germain agreed to pay on the player’s behalf. A statement on the FC Barcelona website confirmed the position:
“Neymar Junior, accompanied by his father and agent, has this morning informed FC Barcelona of his decision to leave the club during a meeting held in the club’s offices. Given this position, the club referred them to the buyout clause stipulated in his contract, which since 1 July stands at €222m and must be paid in its entirety.”
While the transfer was intriguing for a number of reasons, it is the application of the buy-out clause that has received the most attention. This article explains the use and legality of buyout clauses in football contracts in Spain. Particularly focus is given to minors’ contracts, where buy-out clauses are widely used. Specifically, we look at:
- A brief recap of what buy-out clauses are and how they work;
- The use of penalty clauses in minors’ contracts in Spain
- The case of Fran Mérida and FC Barcelona
- The case of Javier Fernandez Jusdado and Club Atlético de Madrid
- The case of José Raul Baena Urdiales and FC Barcelona
...to continue reading register here for free
LawInSport is an independent publisher used by sports lawyers, sports business executives and administrators, athletes and support personnel, academics and students to stay informed of the latest legal issues and developments from the world of sport. It is our mission to improve the accountability, transparency and standard of the administration and governance of sport and the understanding of the law.
Thank you for considering becoming a member of LawInSport, supporting independent media and the promotion well researched, reference and accessible legal information that contributes to greater transparency and accountability in the sport and legal sectors.
This work was written for and first published on LawInSport.com (unless otherwise stated) and the copyright is owned by LawInSport Ltd. Permission to make digital or hard copies of this work (or part, or abstracts, of it) for personal use provided copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, and provided that all copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page (which should include the URL, company name (LawInSport), article title, author name, date of the publication and date of use) of any copies made. Copyright for components of this work owned by parties other than LawInSport must be honoured.
- Buy-Out Clause | FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players | Football | Penalty Clause | Real Decreto | Spain | Spanish Civil Code
- How CAS deals with excessive contractual penalties in football
- How Spain’s "Real Decreto" impacts football player transfers and solidarity contributions under FIFA Regulations
- Buy-Out & Release Clauses in football contracts: The basics
- Buy-out clause disputes under the FIFA Regulations – when to take action