Marcos Rojo and 10 Players with Complicated Third-Party Ownership

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

Marcos Rojo and 10 Players with Complicated Third-Party Ownership

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    Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

    Argentinean World Cup star Marcos Rojo is the latest player to become embroiled in the complicated and murky world of third-party ownership. 

    A management company named Doyen Sports "own" 75 per cent of the player after paying three quarters of his transfer fee from Spartak Moscow to Sporting Lisbon in 2012. 

    Now, according to the Press Association (h/t The Guardian) Doyen are insisting that Sporting owe them 75 percent of any declined transfer offers. Having rejected a bid, the Portuguese side are now on the hook for £12 million. 

    Sporting have stated that they will not pay the fee—perhaps feeling that the owners should not be able to influence their operations.

    Essentially, it's a bit of a mess. 

    Here are 10 more players whose ownership is or has been held outside of the clubs they represent... 

Eliaquim Mangala

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    Earlier this week, Manchester City confirmed the £42.9 million signing of highly rated French defender Eliaquim Mangala, but the deal was not without its obstacles thanks to his third-party ownership.

    Since the Premier League has banned third-party ownership, the aforementioned Doyen Sports—who were founded by super-agent Jorge Mendes—were forced to sell their share of the economic rights to City.

    As a result, his former club Porto were paid just £24.4 million of his fee, with the remainder being split between Doyen and his former club Standard Liege, per Matt Morlidge of The Independent


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    There was much confusion over how much Zenit St Petersburg actually paid for Hulk in 2012 thanks to his ownership status. 

    The large-derriered Brazilian was brought in from Porto, who only actually owned 85 per cent of his economic rights. The other 15 per cent is owned by Renistas, a Uruguayan club for whom Hulk has never played.

    In 2011, Porto increased their stake in Hulk to 85 per cent, by buying a further 40 per cent of his rights from Renistas for €13.5 million, per John Sinnott of BBC Sport

    See? Told you this was complicated. 

Radamel Falcao

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    Ever wondered why Radamel Falcao chose to move from Ateltico Madrid to play in front of 5,000 people in Ligue 1 at Monaco?

    Well, he probably didn't choose—his destiny was almost certainly decided by the investors who own his economic rights. 

    When Atletico Madrid purchased the Colombian from Porto in 2011, 55 per cent of the €40 million fee was covered by Mendes' Doyen Sports company. Hence, Atleti only paid €18 million for Falcao's services. 

    After Falcao took La Liga by storm, Monaco were the club who offered the most money (€60 million), so Doyen promptly received a hefty return on their investment. 


Carlos Tevez

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    One of the most famous cases in third-party ownership is that of Carlos Tevez. 

    The Argentinean was brought to West Ham in 2006—along with Javier Mascherano—but it emerged that both players' registrations were owned by offshore companies (MSI and Just Sports) represented by "agent" Kia Joorabchian.

    West Ham were eventually fined £5.5 million for concealing the players' registration rights, but were not docked points—much to the chagrin of Sheffield United, who would have staved off relegation in place of the Hammers.  

    Tevez was still under third-party ownership in 2007 when he joined Manchester United and only freed himself from Joorabchian's investment companies in 2009 when Manchester City purchased him. 

Javier Mascherano

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    When he arrived at West Ham in 2006, Javier Mascherano was in the same third-party ownership boat as Carlos Tevez.

    It was Mascherano's move to Liverpool in 2007 that uncovered the whole ownership debacle, per David Conn of The Guardian

    As the transfer fees for both players were paid for by investors, the Premier League decided, quite rightly, that they could "materially influence" where the players were sold.

    The fact that Mascherano played for three clubs within a single year—a breach of FIFA rules—seems to suggest his value was being exploited. 

Alvaro Negredo

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    When Alvaro Negredo moved from Real Madrid to Sevilla in 2009, he was one of seven players brought to Seville in connection with Doyen Sports. 

    Despite moving to the Premier League with Manchester City in 2013, the Spaniard is still a Doyen Sports man. Unlike all the other stars in Doyen's player pool, however, he is listed as being "represented in partnership with one of Doyen Sports' official representatives." 

Alvaro Morata

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    Not long after Alvaro Morata agreed a £16 million transfer to Juventus, he was out of action with an unfortunate knee injury picked up in training

    Doyen, the Spanish striker's third-party owners, will surely be hoping this does not affect his future transfer value. 

Tiago Mendes

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    Earlier this summer, Tiago Mendes was linked with a move back to Chelsea. However, David Kent of the Daily Mail reported that the Portuguese midfielder's free transfer back to Mourinho's Blues was complicated by the third party holding a share of his economic rights. 

    Unsurprisingly, the owner in question was agent Jorge Mendes, founder of Doyen.  

    Rather than go somewhere for free, Tiago has now opted to extend his contract at Atletico Madrid. 


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    Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    In Portugal, it is common practise for a player's economic rights to be put up for sale as a means of revenue generation. 

    This is what happened in the case of Ramires, whose club Benfica sold a 50 per cent share of his rights to a company run by the notorious Kia Joorabchian. note that a further 30 per cent was owned by his agent, Pini Zahavi. 

    This meant that when Chelsea bought his full economic rights in 2010, Benfica received just €4 million of his €20 million fee. 

Luis Fabiano

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    When Luis Fabiano moved from Brazil to Porto in 2004, the Portuguese side bought only 25 per cent of his economic rights, with the remainder being owned by a Brazilian company named Global Soccer Investments (GSI). 

    In 2005, the striker moved to Sevilla, who bought another 10 per cent of his rights from GSI to bring their share to 35 per cent. A move to Roma in 2008 stalled thanks to complications from his ownership status, and he eventually moved back to Sao Paulo in 2012.  


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