How do Footballer Contracts Work?

How Do Football (Soccer) Contracts Work?

There is no doubt that footballer contracts in Europe have evolved (soccer). Most notably, in addition to salary and bonuses, there are now more clauses. Soccer players now have far more bargaining power in contractual negotiations. Moreover, in the modern game, agents play a much larger role.

Football (soccer) contracts can be perplexing for spectators. We’ll go over everything you need to know about them in this blog post! We will answer questions such as how football (soccer) contracts work and what are the different types of contracts that players can sign. So, if you’re interested in football (soccer) contracts, read on!

What is a Football (Soccer) Contract?

A football (soccer) contract is an agreement between a player and a club that details the player’s employment terms. The contract will outline the length of the agreement, the player’s salary, and any bonuses or benefits to which they are entitled. It should be noted that players can only sign contracts with clubs with which they are registered.

what are football contracts?

What is the Purpose of a Football (Soccer) Contract?

Footballer contracts essentially state that the club owns the player for the duration of the contract. This means that the player cannot leave the club to play for another team unless another club makes a transfer offer.

The selling club then accepts the offer. If the player’s team refuses to let them leave, the player has no recourse until the contract expires. That means the player is free to negotiate terms with any club.

Unless they are nearing the end of their careers, players frequently sign long-term contracts (around 4-5 years). This appears to give the club power over the player.

Can a Football (Soccer) Player still Leave under Contract?

It’s easy to recall instances where players simply handed in transfer requests, refused to play, and the club relented and allowed a transfer to take place, even for star players.

One important reason for this is the risk of disrupting the team’s dynamics. If the player refuses to play, the club will be sitting on a valuable asset, which will lose value over time.

The Purpose of Football (Soccer) Agents

Football player contracts are complex and have many facets. The footballer’s agent negotiates contracts and seeks the best financial deal for the player while also maximizing the player’s freedom and power.

Football (soccer) clubs make certain that the players get the money they desire. However, the player’s market value is maintained if they have plenty of time left on their contract.


The salary or wage is the first and most important aspect of football contracts. This is frequently expressed as the weekly wage rather than the annual salary in footballer contracts. The average weekly wage in the Premier League is £61,000 (before tax). This has increased by more than £10,000 in the last two seasons.

Showing the rapid rise in player wages as well as rising transfer fees., in Europe’s other leagues, the average player earns significantly less per week. This demonstrates why the Premier League has such a strong pull for all players.

How do Football (Soccer) Clubs and Players Reach an Agreed Value?

Football players rarely accept wage reductions. Unless they are older and nearing the end of their career, they will most likely join clubs at a lower level.

This means that if a player transfers to another club, his or her new salary will almost always be equal to or higher than their previous salary, particularly if they join a Premier League club. Contract renewals are analogous.

As their contract expires, players will frequently re-sign for a higher salary to reflect market inflation. This makes the player more valuable or simply persuades the player to stay with the club.

Agent Fees 

Football (soccer) agents represent footballers and negotiate their contracts, among other things. Agents typically have a large number of clients and thus represent multiple players at the same time. ‘Super agents’ are game agents who represent many of the game’s most elite and valuable players.; those who earn the most money in the game.

Agent fees, which are included in player contracts, are one way that agents make money. It is typically a percentage of the player’s earnings, so the agent will negotiate the highest possible wage for their client. However, they also act in their own self-interest by attempting to earn more commission.

football contracts

soccer agents; bad reputation?

In the game, super agents have a bad reputation. They have been accused of causing trouble between players and clubs so that a transfer occurs, where the agent can make money through the commission of the transfer fee, in addition to earning more money through higher wages at a new club.


Even though the wages alone appear to be exorbitant in the modern game, performance-related bonuses are almost always included in footballer contracts. A common bonus for an attacking player, for example, is based on a goal-scoring target. Similarly, for defenders and goalkeepers, clean sheet bonuses are used.

competition bonuses:

Many contracts include competition bonuses, so if a team wins a cup or league or qualifies for the Champions League, this will often trigger a bonus for players if it is in their contract. However, not all bonuses are performance-based, as almost every contract includes an ‘appearance fee.’ This is simply a bonus for each game played by the player.

performance-related bonuses:

Bonuses may appear to benefit only players, but clubs can use performance-related bonuses to incentivize players and improve performance. In addition, if a club is unable to afford a high wage for a player, bonuses can be used to ensure that the player is only rewarded when the team is performing well.


Along with bonuses, footballer contracts contain a number of clauses. Clauses differ in that they aren’t always about money, and they can include pretty much anything agreed upon by the player and the club.

‘match highest earner’ clause:

The match highest earner clause’ is a common clause in footballer contracts. A key player in a team, such as Messi or Ronaldo, may request that this be included in their contract.

It basically means that if a club signs a new player or renews an existing player’s contract for a higher wage than Messi, Messi’s wage will automatically increase to match the highest earner.

A yearly wage increase, a wage increase based on the number of games played, or a contract extension if a player plays a certain number of games in a season are all examples of traditional clauses.

The Release Clause 

The ‘release clause’ is one of the most common clauses. These are relatively uncommon in Premier League footballer contracts but more common in other European Leagues. A release clause is a pre-agreed-upon amount for which another team can bid on a player, with the selling team obligated to accept the offer.

When entering into long-term contracts, players have an element of freedom because they know that if a club is willing to pay a certain amount, they will have the option to leave, even if the selling club does not want them to. Of course, this gives the club less power. The release clause is usually in the form of a very large sum in excess of the player’s market value.

Spanish Football (Soccer) Release Clauses

Release clauses work differently in Spanish football (soccer). The money must be provided by the player to the Spanish FA. The player would have to receive this money from the club that wishes to activate the clause, who would then transfer it to league officials.

There, they approve the contract termination and hand over the money to the selling club. In 2019, Antione Griezmann left Atletico Madrid for Barcelona after Atletico Madrid triggered the €120 million release clause.

Thinking Ahead

Release clauses can also take effect in certain circumstances. There can be relegation release clauses, for example, where if a club is relegated, the clause takes effect. Release clauses may also be limited to specific buying clubs.

If a player wants to ensure that his team doesn’t refuse him a move to a big club, the clause can be tailored to only apply to Champions League clubs or even specific clubs.


Unusual Clauses

Astronaut Schwarz

Some clauses in football (soccer) player contracts are simply bizarre. When Stefan Schwarz joined Sunderland in 1999, he mentioned that he wanted to go to space one day, so the club put a clause in his contract that prohibited him from doing so!

Sunderland felt the need to include this clause in his contract because it was believed that commercial space travel would be available within the next 5 years. Needless to say, we don’t believe the clause had any effect on Stefan Schwarz’s lack of interstellar travel.

Flights on the House 

Neymar’s contract with Barcelona included a clause that allowed a number of his Santos friends to visit him every couple of months, with his club covering the cost of their travel and lodging.

Former Barcelona President Rosell revealed that as part of the contractual agreement, the club paid $430,000 to fly Neymar’s entourage, the ‘Toiss,’ over from Brazil in a private jet.

Family Ties 

This isn’t uncommon, as to prevent homesickness in foreign signings, there are often clauses in the contract that ensure the player can have family visits or travel home.

AC Milan goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma’s career was marred by controversy when, just a day after finally signing a new contract, the club also signed his older brother on what was perceived to be a very generous salary.

Gigi and his agent clearly negotiated this contentious transfer as part of his new contract, even if it was not an official contractual clause.

Overall, this demonstrates how complex football (soccer) contracts are these days, with seemingly absurd player demands.


This conversation was extremely interesting in the modern lucrative scenario of football (soccer) contracts! It enables us to comprehend how the players maintain their exclusive lifestyles in the fast-paced sports economy!

That brings us to the end of our blog post on football (soccer) contracts! We hope you now have a better understanding of how they work and the various types of contracts. If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you for taking the time to read!

Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats

Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.

Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?


Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.


On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.


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