How La Liga transfers work behind the scenes

La Liga fans worldwide have been closely following their club’s transfer business this summer. But have you ever wondered how the transfer process actually works from the inside?

For example, when Real Madrid signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea earlier this summer… how did the Bernabeu directors go about officially completing the deal and registering the player with La Liga?

Firstly, and very importantly, the process is digitalised. Since summer 2016, Spanish clubs now use a software application called La Liga Manager to conduct all incoming or outgoing player trades. Over 2,000 transfers have been managed using the software, which makes the process of buying and selling players more straightforward, more sensible and more secure.

La Liga Manager is an online tool which provides club officials carrying out a transfer with all documents to be filled in or uploaded, ensuring each deal is completed correctly using precise and verifiable information. It also contains all FIFA, UEFA and LaLiga regulations to be complied with whether the incoming player is a free agent, if a fee is paid or a release clause triggered.

The bespoke application is very easy and intuitive to use. Club officials log in from any location and are directed through a straightforward process, inputting information in the relevant spaces and selecting options from pull-down menus. Just as if they were using their personal online banking system on their phone or booking a plane or train ticket over the web.

So, in the case of Hazard, once the deal had been agreed with selling club Chelsea and contract terms were finalised with the player himself, a Real Madrid official would have opened up La Liga Manager to communicate all the details to La Liga. If a player is moving between La Liga clubs, the selling club must first withdraw the player, via the app.

Data would have been inputted to cover all elements of the move, including the transfer fee paid to Chelsea, the terms of Hazard’s contract, any agent details and all taxes due. This must be done whether a club is doing business with a fellow La Liga team or a foreign club, and also when a youth team player is being registered with the senior side. Even a passport-style photo of Hazard will have been uploaded for use on his official La Liga license. When the club handed the Belgian the prestigious number seven shirt, this is where they made it official.

Once the club had completed the process to request Hazard be registered as their player, an executive from La Liga’s Competitions team used La Liga Manager to review all the documentation, checking that everything was correct and all relevant regulations had been followed.

All transfers are also studied by La Liga to ensure conformity with Spanish football’s ‘economic controls’ regulations. These ensure clubs stick to agreed squad costs for each season. This helps La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank clubs live within their means, keeping staff costs at around 50% of their total budget.

In this case, La Liga gave the green light to sign Hazard, as Real Madrid had sufficient space in their agreed 2019/20 budget for his transfer fee and salary. It’s worth noting that La Liga does not impose salary restrictions, though; clubs can spend their money as they please as long as they do not overspend their agreed limits.

When the deal involves two Spanish clubs, the selling club also use La Liga Manager to verify all the details entered by their counterpart. La Liga’s competitions team then again review how the deal affects its agreed economic controls. State of the art security ensures that all sensitive information within this official channel is kept completely safe.

The La Liga Manager system ensured that Hazard’s transfer went through without a problem. All he needs to do now is start repaying his transfer fee.