Football, also known as soccer in America, is arguably the most popular sport in the world. Among hundreds of professional football leagues, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and Italian Lega Calcio Serie A are the most well-known. The English Premier League (EPL) is considered to be the best because hundreds of world-class football players play in this league. Now, however, La Liga starts to rival the EPL because many Spanish teams have started to ‘buy’ talented players.
The presence of superstar players in a football league indeed creates a difference to the overall competition atmosphere. Take the American Major League Soccer, for example. In the past, the MLS was not getting a lot of attention from the Americans. But after the arrival of David Beckham, who is a living football legend from England, MLS has become increasingly popular.
Today, football is no longer about the matches that we watch every weekend. It has become a big industry where billions of dollars circulates within it annually. Professional players have become celebrities because they have thousands of fans and also due to their glamorous lifestyle.
One of the most talked about topics among football enthusiasts every year is player transfers. The latest and most phenomenal move was the transfer of Fernando Torres earlier this year. Chelsea Football Club paid £50 million for him to quit his former team Liverpool Football Club, which makes it the most expensive transfer in EPL history.
The concept of player transfer was introduced by England’s Football Association more than a century ago, with the purpose of supporting professionalism in football. Regulation states that before a new season starts, all teams must register all players to FIFA, which is the international governing body for football. All registered players in a team are not allowed to be registered at other teams. Player transfer is not allowed to be conducted outside the ‘transfer window’. Transfer window is the period where football clubs can recruit players from other clubs to be their players.
The move is complete when the new team has registered the new player to FIFA. There are two windows: one before new season starts and one in the middle of the season. Schedules depend on regulations set by each nation’s football authority, but usually they last the same amount of time for all leagues around the world.