Third party (TPO) ownership involves a third party that can come in the form of a company, a hedge-fund, an agent or even a single family member, that takes entire ownership or part of the financial rights to a player.
This means the party, rather than a football club, benefits from transfer fees when the player moves on and can even take a cut of the player’s contract.
This just got the manager of the England national team sacked, or as the FA put it, Sam Allardyce left ‘by mutual consent’.
England’s FA now face a long task of appointing the next manager, with Gareth Southgate in as interim boss. The following few years and the next national manager could be crucial to the trajectory of the Three Lions over the next decade and will affect the football betting of punters nationwide.
This isn’t the first time Allardyce has been involved in third party ownership, however, previously he acted by the book and there was no wrong doing.
When Big Sam was manager of West Ham United in 2014, Ecuadorian Enner Valencia was not fully owned by his then club Pachuca.
Under FA regulations no player that comes to England can be under third party ownership, as it sees it almost as a sort of slavery, as the player may have little say where the he plays.
However, the Hammers followed the rules and purchased full ownership of the player for £12m.
TPO is common practice in South America, as agents and other opportunist businesspeople look the leach off an emerging talent. However, TPO is also widespread in Russia, Portugal and Spain.
But England isn’t squeaky clean when it comes to TPO. Perhaps the most famous example was the transfer of talented Argentine Corinthians duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in 2006 to West Ham.
The pair’s economic rights were owned by a London based fund led by notorious businessman Kia Joorabchian.
At the time, TPO wasn’t outlawed, but the Hammers were later fined £5.5m and ordered to pay Sheffield United compensation, the club relegated as a result of Tevez’s goals.
As the Telegraph investigation continues, more names will likely to be revealed as a result of potential TPO malpractice.
Allardyce was perhaps the fall guy for a deeper routed problem of greed in football and willingness to break the rules regularly.