Anthony Matthews dos Santos – better known as Anthony – is said to be going for €95m from Ajax to Manchester United, the club coached by former coach Eric Ten Hag. This amount can go up to 100 million euros via bonuses. This makes the 22-year-old Brazilian the most expensive player in the Eredivisie. What does this transfer mean in mathematical, legal, historical, commercial and psychological terms?
Pierre van Hooydonk, former football player:
“The difference between the Eredivisie and the Premier League is huge. In recent years there have been Ajax footballers like Davy Klassen, Donny van de Beek and Daley Blind, who didn’t achieve that in England. I think PSV’s Cody Gakbo will now lose for Manchester United. “Partly because the selections are so much bigger, the competition at the big clubs is enormous. You have to be there right away. Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum starred at Liverpool, but they made their debuts for other British clubs.”
“However, I think Anthony has everything to succeed at Manchester United. He will take some time to adapt, but he has something that others don’t. You can call it Neymar’s touch. He is a challenging player with acceleration. He plays football as if he were in the slums. With A great will to win.Anthony knows how to translate street football into the effectiveness of professional football.Overall, as a Brazilian international, he has a very positive standing.If you are at a young age to Silico belongs, then you still have the advantage. In addition, Anthony is a football player who does not depend on others. He plays his own game. In this respect, he is somewhat similar to Luis Suarez [die in 2011 van Ajax naar Liverpool ging, red.].
“Many fans will embrace Anthony. Others will hate him and shoot him with a cannon. In England they don’t like cheating and being influenced. He will see that soon.”
Tim Wilms, sports and employment attorney:
Football players have an exceptional position in labor law compared to other employees. They are excluded from the so-called “chain order”. This means that footballers, in principle, are not limited by the number of fixed-term contracts. They have this exception with the permission of the Minister, as do artists, teachers, and television makers. Their position is the result of the internationally recognized conversion system. It is therefore difficult for footballers to terminate contracts prematurely.
“Players who want to get out of their contract, like Anthony, have three options. They can negotiate with their employer for a lump sum payment, they can apply to the KNVB jury to cancel the employment contract or they can unilaterally terminate their contract.
„I have helped many professional players and clubs and in the vast majority of cases the first happens. Surprisingly, there are few examples of footballers who have gone to the judging panel, such as Telstar’s Jeb Molinar, whose new coach has gone awry. [hij won, red.]. Only by threatening to do so, you can press the kettle as a footballer. To my knowledge, there are no players in the Eredivisie who have unilaterally terminated their contract, which could lead, among other things, to suspension and compensation from FIFA.”
Jorit van de Voen, sports historian:
Anthony’s move fits in with the longer trend in football. This trend began with the so-called Bosman rule, in 1995, as a result of which the transport system was abolished. As a result of this ruling, transfer-free players have been given more freedom. But players who want to get rid of a running contract are actually becoming more dependent on their club – especially now with the amounts increasing. They feel imprisoned by the high transportation fees. In the end, I think the clubs benefit more from Bosman’s rule than the players.
“A hundred million is a lot, but nowadays clubs are making a lot of money from the shirts of famous players, especially if they come from a country where football is big, like Anthony, who comes from Brazil. I expect his shirt to appear. no time in Brazilian retail chains.
Bob van Oosterhout, sports marketer:
“It’s of course an astronomical sum. You seriously wonder if it’s worth it. Panic football may be a strong word, but Manchester are under pressure: things haven’t been going well in years, and something has to be done. And the real hi-hats, the greatest What in the land like Neymar or Mbappe, it can’t be achieved. These are fixed and cost multiples of 100 million. So as a club you have to look for the best players in the making.
“I’ve never been a fan of Anthony myself, I even think he has a bit of an annoying look. But you can’t deny that it’s a hit. I came to the field for such players.
Manchester United are naturally hoping to pay for themselves in sporting terms. And if they were to reach the Champions League again, it would already result in a significant portion of the transfer fee. But make no mistake, you are also buying an international player from Brazil with Anthony. The club already has a global presence, but is now being strengthened in South America. If it is the revelation they are hoping for, it will bring in a lot of revenue. Think of all those T-shirts bearing his name that sell in Brazil, but it’s also possible that broadcasting rights are too expensive in South America and might even attract a Brazilian company as a new sponsor. It’s a combination of a lot of things.
“On the other hand, the big clubs are definitely tough companies, calculating things to three decimal places before making a choice. But on the other hand, opportunism excels. This is what makes football so interesting.”
Afke van de Wouw, sports psychologist:
“How a football player deals with such a transfer is a very personal matter. On the other hand, it is a huge confirmation that the club wants you for a lot of money. This is a kick. But at the same time, it can also be stressful: now you have to prove You deserve it, and now you have to sign up.
“Manchester United is also a club that gets a lot more attention than Ajax, so Anthony is more in the spotlight. And the move requires a lot of energy anyway: a new club, and in this case also a new country. Do you fit into a culture? Do you agree with the coach?”
„Anthony’s advantage is: Tin Hag would like to be with him, so they will have a good relationship. That makes a huge difference. It’s always a good idea to know the coach when you’re starting out in a new place. I’m used to the coaching, the feedback, the team discussions, the way he speaks English – both not a native speaker of course. These are small things, but they are important.”
A version of this article also appeared in the August 30, 2022 newspaper
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