Transfer market in Pro Clubs
After our successful FIFA PRO CLUBS Masters Tournament 2021 of the ISPO, we want to deal more intensively with topics around the Pro Clubs mode in the future. In this article, we take a look at the "transfer market" in Pro Clubs. For this purpose, we interviewed renowned Pro Clubs teams like the S5 Elite Bombers, Alemannia Aachen, Elite Selection Club and Ajax Aachen, who gave us an insight regarding the following questions:
Where and how do the players of a Pro Club team get together?
When founding a Pro Club team, it is advantageous to have a solid base of three to four players who, in the best case, already know each other in real life. The transfer market for acquiring additional or new players usually takes place on the social platforms in the Pro Club area. In that case, Facebook offers the largest contact point. Within certain groups, where the FIFA Pro Clubs community is represented, both players can post a speculative application and clubs, looking for new players, can post a job advertisement. If a player preliminarily decides on a club, he sends his application to the club's respective Facebook page or email address. In terms of content, the application should cover questions such as age, position(s), previous starting positions and existing experience in the eleven-man-game. However, new players are often recruited through referrals from existing players, for example, ninety percentage of Ajax Aachen's squad is made up of friends who knew each other before their formation. After a successful application, the potential new players are invited and tested on a playing and personal level. A decision is made as to whether or not the player and team come together.
What do you look for when signing new players?
Firstly, of course, the quality of play is taken into account. The keyword is versatility - a new player should be robust in one position and play flexibly in different ones. The activity of a player is also relevant here - the more active, the better. On the other hand, social skills play a decisive role when signing new players. Since the Pro Clubs mode relies on the eleven-man-game, good cooperation is required. The new player must radiate a "we" feeling and convey a good sense of being loyal and reliable towards the club and his teammates.
For this reason, the character aspect is ultimately decisive for whether a player is signed or not. At Alemannia Aachen, it is also assumed that the players have a particular affinity with the region and the club Alemannia. Thus, the players must become club members to be able to play in official matches.
How do you ensure that a new player not only fits into the team athletically but also as a person?
A prerequisite for a transfer is that test matches are played. As a rule, the new players are invited 2-3 times to prove their skills. Besides, the club managers conduct transfer talks with the players. Here, the knowledge of the human nature of the responsible persons is in demand because they have to assess whether a new player also fits into the team on a human level. An individual risk can never be ruled out here.
How long does a player stay with the Pro Clubs?
This varies and cannot be answered in general, as there are no time contracts in the Pro Clubs. If a player wants to leave the club, he can do so without further ado. As a result, it is not uncommon for players to leave the team after only a few weeks, which has the disadvantage of making it difficult to plan for the long term or to rehearse training procedures.
Are player contracts drawn up at the time of signing?
Unlike in analogue football, no legally binding contracts are drawn up for Pro Clubs, as there are no binding framework conditions, such as payment. Mostly, only virtual player contracts are suspended, which determine the club affiliation.
Challenges in the transfer market
Transfer markets on Facebook and other platforms work, but the clubs agree that it would be beneficial to have a central point of contact for transfers within the different leagues of the pro clubs scene in the future. Thus, the transfer market challenge lies in coordination - both clubs and players need to filter suitable requests within groups on Facebook. Another challenge is club-hopping - to avoid this, it would be beneficial to provide the transfer markets with chronicles about the players and their past/their previous contact points to make it easier for them to choose new players.
The first point of contact for transfers in the Pro Clubs is Facebook groups of the community. Whether a player joins a Pro Clubs team is decided primarily by whether he fits well into the team. As with a real football team, success stands and falls with the harmony, atmosphere and reliability within a group.