Bye Bye Buy Back

by   |   28/07/2019  31 Comments  [Jump to last]

These clauses need more debating as to whether we should be getting involved with them. Whilst they can be a shot of adrenaline, I am concerned that they could hinder our progress in the long-term. As a case study, the Moise Kean reported conditions are as follows:

Moise Kean fee: £36M; Juve will have the option to buy him back for £55M.

So, if he is a resounding success after Marco Silva and his team put their life and soul into improving him... then we are forced to sell him to Juve after a few years when he is 22-23 and at the beginning of his prime years, and make only £19M.

Alternatively, if he fails to make the grade, we lose up to £36M... and Juve lose nothing.

The whole thing is a derivative of a loan deal, where we develop a player for Juventus. The backdrop will feel like a wasted effort for Marco and his team, and may even subconsciously dilute their enthusiasm to offer 100% to him from the off.

Also, the player always has his return to Juve at the back of his mind and does not commit to Everton with 100% heart and soul.

The whole development of his career can then be compromised because of these background issues that won't ever go away. Silently distracting attention and focus away from Everton FC.

I am not comfortable with us entering deals using this model; I think it could harm us long-term if fantastic young players we improve can be lost for the sake of £19M. We would be back to square one again with little or no gain for the club.

Sign great players, but not with these punitive buy-back clauses, it is short-sighted and detrimental to the club in the long term.

Buy Moise Kean outright or walk away.

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Reader Comments (31)

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Jamie Crowley
1 Posted 28/07/2019 at 16:55:13
I have no problem at all with buy-back clauses.

The player is the property of Juve. They can place any stipulation they desire upon their asset and the selling of him.

If we obtain a striker who bangs in 15 goals and gets us to the promised land, and he's sold back contractually to Juve and we net 19 million on him, I'd argue that's money well spent - and we find a replacement.

If he's a dud at 36 million with a buyback and we're out 36 million, we're out 36 million.

If he's a dud at 36 million without a buyback and we're out 36 million, we're out 36 million.

Either way there's exposure.

If we get a player in whom can help us, and this is the only way, I honestly don't see it as a negative. If short-term thinking is the only way to obtain a player who will help us reach the next level, then think short-term.

Long term thinking involves buying potential and developing players who aren't so massively rated. The two courses of action can co-exist inside the same business model, and still be fiscally sound.

Brian Harrison
2 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:04:50

The problem with buy back clauses and loan deals is that you as a club are no longer in charge of the player. Obviously Juventus are looking to buy Lukaku to play up front, so they want to sell Kean and in 2 years time by him back if he has been successful. So Everton are taking all the risks but will not get any long term benefit if he is a success, so I view all buy back deals as a glorified loan deal. So I would say no loan deals, and offer them first refusal if we sell, that way we would get the going rate for the lad if he is successful.

Jamie Crowley
3 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:10:37
First refusal is a fine counter to a buy-back, Brian. I agree.

But to say Everton are taking all the risks with no long term benefit isn't accurate.

Everton will take all the risk if they buy him outright.

And there is indeed a long term benefit if he's bought back. If he's bought back, we surely must have improved our position and standing, which sets us up for the long-term, no?

If I knew we'd hit 4th place by signing a kid for two years and then lose him, I'd sign him every single time. How is that a bad thing, when the worst case scenario is you sign him, he shits the bed, and you're out 36 million anyhow?

There's holes in that response, but the premise is sound in my opinion.

Jack Convery
4 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:11:19
The buy back clause should read - Juve can buy him back with a 10% discount on the highest bid made should we decide to sell him - with a minimum buy back price of £56m - so we make a minimum of £20m to pay for our work in developing him.

If Lukaku had been bought under these conditions we'd have lost out by mega millions as we wouldn't have been able to sell him to United for £75 to £95m.

Deals must be win win - this is only Juve can win.

Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:14:44
Another way of looking at it:

You sign the kid, he absolutely kills it, you lose him, and you have 19 million to put towards his replacement.

All the while your team has improved.

And despite being contractually obligated to return, don't underestimate player power. If he wanted to stay and threw a hissie-fit, he'd most likely stay in today's world.

You have to take the chance. The alternatives are to sign a player without a buy-back whom you don't rate as highly, or stand still.

Jamie Crowley
6 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:16:48
Jack -

This isn't only Juve can win.

We win by improving for 2-3 years, even if we have to sell him back.

Or do yo prefer to sit in 7th -8th place year on year?

That last comment sounded narky as hell, don't mean it that way.

Kunal Desai
7 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:24:36
If he is a success at Everton, regardless he will still move on. It's proved in the past and will continue to prove. That's the Everton operating model. Lukaku, Stones, Barkley, Gueye. Most likely it will be Richarlison or Digne season. We don't offer incentives to keep our best players by improving year on year and push towards having a side to push for top four or win a trophy. Good players are ambitious and want to achieve something. Sadly Everton can't offer that.
Jack Convery
8 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:28:09
Jamie - don't worry I didn't. I just hate this business of the so called big clubs low risk strategy. Life is about taking risks and if you sell someone and he becomes the next Pele so be it. Don't ask some other team to buy him, develop him and then say can we have our ball back now. I understand your point about him getting us to 4th and how that benefits us in the long term - I hope to god he does but it still sticks in my throat and I suppose it always will. Anyway here's to a great 19/20 season may it have a Silva lining.
Jamie Crowley
9 Posted 28/07/2019 at 17:36:32
Amen Jack.

The gist of your post could be sophomorically concluded to be:

It must be nice to be at the top.

It is. And these big clubs will continue these types of deals for a long, long time. They have the power to do so, and won't hesitate to. It's very good business on their part.

You have to play the hand you're dealt, and try to reach the summit in the process.

Silva linings indeed! Cheers.

Nitesh Kanchan
10 Posted 28/07/2019 at 19:14:08
Two years is enough for us with a Riaola player. After two years every Tom Dick and Harry will be interested in him as per Riaola. Buy him, it will be good deal, if he comes good we might in the top 4 as well then attracting better players. Maybe even Calvert-Lewin might be good enough by then to start for us. Try for £65M though in the buy-back clause if possible. Overall perfect deal for us.
Tony Everan
11 Posted 28/07/2019 at 19:47:02
What is nagging at me is that if his goals do propel us to the top four, he will be one of, if not the most sought after striker in Europe. at 22-23 years old.

In 3-4 years time £55M, with transfer inflation, will be similar to the £36M we will have paid for him. 55m in 2022 wouldn't buy the big toe of a 23-year-old striker that has already taken the toughest league in the world by storm. You'd be looking at £155M.

Rather than a buy-back, a sell-on clause at 10% would be more equitable.

Fran Mitchell
12 Posted 28/07/2019 at 19:57:28
At the end of the day, any player who is a success we know we will lose, just look at the reaction on here when Richarlison scored in the Copa America final.

The only difference is that with Kean our profit will be less.

But if his goals propel us to CL football, worth it.


Not that I don't hate the whole system, its all geared towards preserving the big clubs. IMO clubs should have a set no of professional players, a limit on outward loans which in turn is limited only to players from the academy. Thus avoiding stockpiling and such. And such buy back clauses should be banned.


But it is what it is, and I'd rather we have Kean for 2 years than none because the lad is a beast

Raymond Fox
13 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:11:38
They know we will/do struggle to sign top players so they are calling the shots.

We can walk away, of course, but I would have a dabble at an £80M buy-back clause.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:12:13
Isn't the way round this just to raise the buy-back amount such that it is worth us developing him. For instance, £75M would give us £39M towards a replacement.
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:21:43
I’ve said this on another thread but hasn’t this kid only got one year left on his contract?

Surely he could tell Juve to take the money off Everton, because if he doesn’t sign another deal, then he would be free to go to any club outside of Italy, in twelve months time for an absolute pittance, and this is the bit I just can’t properly understand.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:21:58
I would just agree to a clause that gives them first option if and when we decide to sell at whatever the market price is at the time.
Francis van Lierop
17 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:22:50
The choice is then no striker.

Then who?

Being practical, buying for £36M, then releasing for £55M is not a bad deal.

We get a good striker, and if Juve want him back (which means he was successful!), we make a nice profit, which we can invest in the next one.

Fran Mitchell
18 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:29:16
Tony, but maybe the lad himself actually wants to be a star at Juve, one of the greatest teams in European football history and his home country. So he sees the benefit of Joining us, developing, with a real prospect of later rejoining Juve at his peak and being a starter. Can't blame him.
Steven Bencz
19 Posted 28/07/2019 at 20:39:27
I don't mind the buy back clause. Imagine this scenario. We buy Kean for £36M he helps us get better. Next year we finish 6th, he scores say 10; the year after, we get into Champions League and Juve buys him back for say £55M. By then, we can offer what players looking for with Champions League action.

If anything, why haven't we used it on Antonee Robinson, for example?

Ralph Basnett
20 Posted 28/07/2019 at 21:06:39
I'm pretty sure a buy-back clause only comes into it if we decide to sell, the previous club can't just decide he's doing well so we are buying back.

If that was the case no one would do it.

Buy backs just give the selling club first option to buy if we sell and they usually have a sell-by date in case we have a contract extension if he decides to stay.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 28/07/2019 at 21:27:16
Maybe Fran@18, but I’m sure he would have signed a new contract, and then gone out on loan, if it was really that simple mate?
Chris James
22 Posted 28/07/2019 at 22:39:47
Couldn't be much less bothered about the buyback clause.
If this guy us an incredible success, we may be forced to sell him but get our cash back with a 50%+ interest in 3 years.

Right now I'd suggest we need a decent centre forward more than Juventus need to sell one. If he's a world beater and we lose him in 3 years then sobeit, we'd likely have lost him anyway, so the only thing we're arguing about is how much a player theoretically might be worth if he just possibly turns out great. Lets face it, the odds are that he won't blow the doors off and will either fail or be okay. Even if we thought he was ace he may not fit into what Juventus want.
Look how it went with Deloufeu, we got him for c.£4.2M (on top of whatever loan fee before), he showed in patches with us, but not exactly prolific - only when he went to Milan on loan did he tempt Barca to activate the buyback at £10.6M. Then they sold him on after another season to Watford for £13M.

Did we lose out massively there?
Kind of hard to see that we did in any meaningful way. If anything I'd argue that the buyback helped us recoup some money on a player that was decent enough but didn't quite fit with our style at the time.

As for the argument that Everton are going to be 'progressing' a young talent for Juventus in a way they couldn't do themselves...come on, get over yourselves.
If we were so amazing at 'progressing' young talent. how come we can't 'progress' more of our Premier League 2 winning Under 23s into the first team squad and beyond? How come we aren't 'progressing' Dowell, Lookman, Davies, etc into being world beaters?

The reality is that Kean looks very promising and he will either turn out to be the real deal or he won't. If he is we'll play him as much as we possibly can, not because we're doing Juventus a favour, because we want a decent bloody front-man after 2 seasons in the wilderness and we want to win matches.

Si Cooper
23 Posted 28/07/2019 at 23:11:19
Clive (14) - no, £75 million would give us £75 million for a replacement.
People seem determined to present this deal in the worst light possible. There is no more risk in this than buying the youngster outright. The only unusual part is not being able to maximise on his potential value in a couple of years.
There are posts talking about us not getting full value for our work developing the player as if he himself won’t be putting plenty in to make it happen.
The player has to be motivated to do his best for us otherwise he won’t get his return to Juve, which he must be interested in to have agreed to the buy back clause in the first place.
If the player performs then we benefit whilst he is with us, get more than our money back, and have potentially forged a good relationship with the player and Juve which we may benefit from further sometime in the future.
The only caveat is that the player must be capable of adding something to our first choice line up pretty much straightaway to make the transfer worthwhile.
Christine Foster
24 Posted 29/07/2019 at 17:45:25
Its all about the art of negotiation. Buy back, no problem BUT lets work this slightly differently.
1. The buy back price increases ever year of his initial contract incrementally. On a five year contract his buy back price each year would increase, for example:
After 1 year the buy back price would increase by 15m
After 2 years by 25m
After 3 years by 30m
After 4 years by 35m
After 5 years 40m
(not culmative!)

2. After his first contract the buy back option ends.

3. The initial purchase price would be reduced by a minimum of 20% if a buy back clause is inserted. Thus protecting the club financially.

Something along those lines would even out the balance more I think on both sides.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 29/07/2019 at 18:05:40
Christine I would just settle for a simple clause offering Juventus first option to buy back at whatever fee we set at the time we wnt to sell him which would have to be the market rate at the time seeing as Juve are asking us for the market rate now.
James Marshall
26 Posted 30/07/2019 at 12:54:25
The deal has been done without a buy-back clause anyway. Medical tomorrow.
Eric Myles
28 Posted 30/07/2019 at 17:25:35
Ralph #20, the buy-back clause has fixed time periods for activation, so yes, if the origin club think the player is doing well they can exercise the option.
David Pearl
29 Posted 30/07/2019 at 19:52:46
Hope thats true James. Or else if Real want to spend £220m on him in a couple of years would they approach us or Juve? If he is successful with he is going to worth a lot more very soon. Or maybe he will be on loan with Wigan.
Jimmy Daly
30 Posted 31/07/2019 at 19:02:11
There is no buy back clause. Juve get first right of refusal to match highest bidder when EFC decide to sell!!😎
Ian Campbell
31 Posted 04/08/2019 at 03:37:26
For all the posters saying that it should be first refusal for Juve, a 10% sell-on fee, raising the buy-back amount instead, I just want to point out that we don't really have that bargaining power.

It's obviously fantasy manager stuff but just know that there's a high probability that any Kean deal fall would fall through and then we have Calvert-Lewin, Tosun or Richarlison leading the line.

I'm pretty sure that Everton had loan deals before where we had an option to buy the player if successful and we could bin them off if not, so I don't really see how this is that different. He's still Juve's player, after all.

Tony Everan
32 Posted 08/08/2019 at 07:31:56
Great work by Marcel Brands and the club for getting Moise Kean in without the dreaded buy back clause.

To me, now the player feels like a proper 100% Everton player, heart and soul, blood and guts on the line for us. There is clarity of direction for him and us and no obfuscation or dark shadows cast by a parent club.

Marco and the staff will be fully motivated to make him the best player he can be for himself and for the success of Everton. I am optimistic over the next few years Moise will become one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

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