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Saints Close Connection To The Digital Transfer Marketplace Changing Football
Monday, 20th Jun 2022 09:07

Most football fans have never heard of The Transfer Room, but when you read all about football's digital marketplace than enables clubs to communicate with each other regarding who is available, you wonder why no one invented it earlier.

The founder of The Transfer room was Jonas Ankersen, the name should sound familiar because he is the brother of our owners Sport Republic's CEO Rasmus Ankersen, therefore as a club we now have a very close connection to the system.

Jonas Ankersen had been researching the football marketplace and talking to various football clubs across Europe and it became obvious that the main issue was was the lack of transparency and access to credible market information. There was very often no direct line of communication between decision-makers. Buying clubs had no reliable intelligence about which players were available, while selling clubs lacked information about which player profiles the buying clubs were seeking.

To put it into focus, it is essentially an online Estate Agency, but for football clubs to market their own players and browse what is available on the market themselves.

Members can browse for not only who is available, but can break it down into categories and see which club's potentially have players in what positions etc, it enables clubs to communicate directly, whereas previously it was being mainly conducted by phone, if Saints wanted to loan out say Dynel Simeu, they no longer have to rely on word of mouth or connections within the game, they can scour the market for a club looking for a central defender on loan, or indeed put him out there as available for a loan spell.

Now most of the clubs in Europe have signed up, most recent signing has been Crawley Town who after being taken over by new owners who saw the potential in the system, signed on the dotted line leaving only two other clubs in the EFL not signed up. Of last season's Premier League only 4 had not joined the system by the close of the last transfer window in January.

While the majority of the deals are done further down the pyramid than the Premier League, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea and indeed Southampton, are signed up members, as well as Barcelona, Juventus and Roma.

TransferRoom now boasts more than 650 clubs from 55 countries. They have a presence in 94 leagues, including division-wide deals with MLS, Liga MX, Denmark and Norway.

Transfers done on the platform have now ticked past 1,500 – 800 of which occurred in 2021 alone. Clubs pay TransferRoom a subscription fee to use the platform, but, unlike agents, the company does not take any commission.

Transfer Room does not publicise the deals it facilitates, but the market place is growing, Ankersen started the system 6 years ago and it built slowly, but perhaps the biggest boost in it's popularity came during Covid 19 when clubs had to communicate in a different way than before.

Increasingly, rather than fielding calls from agents shopping their clients around and haggling over fees through traditional means, clubs are logging onto TransferRoom, there they can view all the relevant market information, sift through options and, if they want, contact the other party directly.

In many respects it is an extension of our Black Box system, we can cross reference players we are identifying and whether they are available etc etc.

It seems also to be reducing the input agents have in the transfer process and from that respect reducing down the extortionate level of fees payable to agents to facilitate the transfer.

TransferRoom is not a club that everyone can join, it is a community exclusively for the key stakeholders in the football transfer system, ie the clubs themselves and indeed agents and players themselves.

How soon Saints bought into this process is unclear, but certainly with the Brother of the founder now a co owner of Southampton FC, if we weren't in it before January we certainly are now.

Photo: Action Images

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