Transfer Clause Craziness In Football

There are a number of peculiarities about Arda Turan’s recently announced move to Barcelona.

Aren’t Barca supposed to be banned from transfers? Is a top class player like the Turkish midfielder really going to sit out the first half of the season until that ban expires?

Even more bizarrely, there’s a clause inserted in the deal that allows the Catalan club to sell him back to Atletico Madrid after Barcelona’s presidential election – for a 10% loss.

We take a look at some other odd contract clauses in footballer’s contracts.

Looking Sheepish

Soccer - Nationwide League Division Two - Port Vale v Cardiff City

Former Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam was a controversial figure, to say the least, so when Spencer Prior joined the Bluebirds, no one was that surprised at one of the contract stipulations.

Hammam insisted the defender have physical relations with a sheep and eat sheep’s testicles before playing in the first team. Prior obliged with the latter – cooked with lemon and parsley sauce. However he drew the line at the former, insisting it was a joke and that his wife was worried he might catch foot and mouth disease.

Every Minute Counts

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Everton - Emirates Stadium

Following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Arsenal in 2011, Gunners fans became increasingly frustrated with the Ox’s lack of playing time.

He was predominantly used as a substitute, often at around the 71 minute mark. After his contract details emerged, it all became clear – Arsenal were obliged to pay Southampton £10,000 every time he played 20 minutes or more.

Out Of This World

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Sunderland v Charlton Athletic

When Sunderland signed midfielder Stefan Schwarz, they probably hoped his movement would help find some space on the pitch. What they didn’t expect was intergalactic travel.

Concerned at an interview where the player expressed a desire to fly on the first commercial flight to space, the Black Cats added a clause banning him from any space travel until his contract expired.

Razor Light

Soccer - Nationwide League Division One - Crystal Palace v Queens Park Rangers

Neil Ruddock struggled with his weight throughout his career so Crystal Palace, who signed him in 2000, weren’t taking any chances.

On Harry Redknapp’s advice, the club inserted a ‘weight clause’, fining him 10% of his wages if he tipped the scales over the agreed limit. After several fines, Palace released him before he joined Swindon Town – where he was reportedly unable to fit into any of the 86 pairs of shorts owned by the club.

Piste Off

Soccer - AXA FA Cup - Third Round - Port Vale v Liverpool

Football clubs are often terrified of their players incurring injury during extracurricular activities, and Liverpool were no different when they signed Stig Inge Bjornebye in 1992.

The defender’s father was an Olympic ski jumper for Norway and the Stig had inherited a passion for the sport. Liverpool were having none of it, however, banning the player from going within 200 yards of a ski slope.

Bricking It

Giuseppe Reina

When you’re negotiating a contract, it’s best to ensure you’re 100% clear about your demands, as Giuseppe Reina found out the hard way.

Upon signing for Arminia Bielefeld, the German striker demanded the club build him a house for every year of his contract. Unfortunately for him he forgot to specify the size, enabling the club to build him a Lego house for the next three years.

Chow Mien

German Soccer - Bundesliga - Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and Rolf-Christel Guie-Mien might agree.

The Congolese midfielder had one stipulation when Eintracht Frankfurt signed him in 1999 – that the club pay for his wife to take cookery lessons. The club agreed but we’re not sure what Mrs. Guie-Mien thought of it all.