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In-game football player transfers

  [vote for,

Football (US: soccer) is all about money. Certainly, there is some football played in matches, and usually one team wins and another team loses but for the most part, who wins and who loses depends on which club has the deepest pockets and can pay for the best footballers. Club funds are traditionally topped up by their owners (inexplicably wealthy businessman, people very close to oppressive but rich foreign regimes, etc.) who seem to view the club as an expensive hobby.

What is a bit of an anomaly is the actual playing of football. There's a touching innocence about how football matches are seen, as if they are fair contests between equally matched opponents and it's not just something largely decided by the amount of money on each side of the pitch. So this idea seeks to correct that by introducing player transfers during the game. If team A is playing team B and likes the look of a player on team B, they can make an offer to buy that player. If this is accepted by the player they will transfer immediately onto team A. To maintain numbers, team A will have to put one of their existing players on the bench and team B will have to get a player (if they have one) off their bench.

There are probably some details to sort out, and there will be some interesting tactics which will emerge as to the best time in a match to make a transfer but this will add a new dimension to the game, and make explicit the role of money in deciding the results of matches.
hippo, Jan 05 2024


       Give every spectator in the stands and at home access via their smart phone to an online transfer system connected to their bank account or credit card. Each spectator could bid either to a general "transfer fund" for their team or to a ringfenced specific transfer target. The amount pledged (from £1 upwards) would be pre-authorised on their card but would not be charged until the transfer went ahead.   

       If a million spectators each pledged an average of £10 that gives the team managers a match-specific transfer fund of £10,000,000, which should be plenty to get going with.
pocmloc, Jan 05 2024

       This shouldn't be limited to the two squads of the two teams playing, which reeks of anti-competitive practices, but allow the in-game transfer market to be open to all teams within your nation's football pyramid (tough luck America, if you don't got a pyramid, you can't take the free market approach here). This will allow football to more completely mirror the concentrations of capital in the capital, as players can move from one match to another (Craven Cottage to Stamford Bridge being a likely quick fix route). It should also allow for the strengthening of the Northern Powerhouse, which ironically exists only in relation to the concentration of higher tier teams in the north west of England. Alas that Mino Raiola did not live to see this juicy, transient market.
calum, Jan 05 2024

       [calum] this leads inevitably to bribery and match-fixing doesn't it? Or do you think there is a nice difference?   

       Also there is the possibility of people who are not interested in football being able to collectively pay the players to take a day off, resulting in there not being enough players and the match cancelled.
pocmloc, Jan 05 2024

       I don’t follow football/soccer. This sounds flaky but could be improved by a penalty factor to even things out. Certain violations will require a player to change sides in the middle of the game. Depending on the severity of the violation the team receiving the offender may decide to beat him mercilessly out of rage, but will compromise their possible victory by disabling him. We examine the fine line between glory and come-uppance.
minoradjustments, Jan 05 2024

       [calum] all excellent points - in-game transfers between matches though might only work between matches which are geographically close and which have good public transport links

[pocmloc] //there is the possibility of people who are not interested in football being able to collectively pay the players to take a day off, resulting in there not being enough players and the match cancelled// - that would be an additional benefit of this idea, yes
hippo, Jan 05 2024

       //[calum] this leads inevitably to bribery and match-fixing doesn't it?//
No. It isn't the harbinger of bribery or match fixing. It's capitalism. This is the truer operation of the free market, the most efficient allocation of resources. It's beautiful. Also, it's better for the lawyers - loads more contracts.

       Where there is the potential for mild (yet lucrative) skulduggery is in relation to the fixture list, and where matches are played, so that quality potential players can be geographically proximate at the time of key fixtures. This puts the organisers of competitions in the same sort of privileged position as heads of national associations have traditionally been at the time of selecting World Cup host nations, which I am sure will make hippo's proposal more attractive to organisers of competitions than even the introduction of VAR.
calum, Jan 05 2024

       Why should this be restricted to just the teams? Surely anyone can buy up a player's contract! If an impromptu consortium of fans want to buy up the players who are having a good game from the opposition side & hoik them off the pitch then I say go for it!
DrBob, Jan 15 2024

       That makes sense to me, [DrBob]
hippo, Jan 15 2024

       On one hand this makes it explicit. On the other hand it channels even more money into this massively overfunded activity. [+/-]
Voice, Jan 15 2024


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