Unknown Haaland deal exposed:
City will pay 0,- for a year

A previously unknown agreement means that Manchester City will pay 0 Euros for Erling Braut Haaland for the entire first year he is owned by the club. This will also have consequences for Haaland’s former clubs.

SOUGHT AFTER: Erling Braut Haaland is one of the biggest stars in world football. Manchester City signed him from Borussia Dortmund this summer. Not much is known about the deal - until now. Picture: Bjørn Langsem / Dagbladet
SOUGHT AFTER: Erling Braut Haaland is one of the biggest stars in world football. Manchester City signed him from Borussia Dortmund this summer. Not much is known about the deal - until now. Picture: Bjørn Langsem / Dagbladet Vis mer
Publisert

«We did not receive any payment at the time of sale. The reason for this is the agreement made between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund», says Hans Øyvind Sagen, General Manager of Bryne FK, to Dagbladet.

«We are entering the income in accounts for this year, however the funds will only be received from July next year.»

Four instalments

Dagbladet can today reveal new information about the footballing world’s biggest transfer of 2022. The deal in which Manchester City, defending English Premier League titleholders, scooped the world’s greatest talent from Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

The talent is Norwegian, has worn the no. 9 shirt at Abu Dhabi-sponsored Etihad Stadium, has already made a name for himself both as a goalscorer and playmaker in the Premier League - and his name is Erling Braut Haaland (22). On 10 May 2022, the two clubs reached agreement on a transfer for Haaland. He officially became a City player from 1 July 2022.

Dagbladet has now received confirmation that:

- In contrast to what has been reported in the British, Norwegian and international press, Manchester City will not pay one single Euro to Dortmund before July of next year.

- City will pay a total of four instalments to Dortmund, and in total the Germans will not have all of the funds in their account before 2026.

- Therefore also Haaland’s former Norwegian clubs will have to wait for their piece of the pie.

BRYNE: Erling Braut Haaland in a Bryne shirt as a 13-year-old talent. His years in the club means that Bryne is due to receive over ten million NOK from Manchester City. But the money won't arrive until next year. Picture: Alf Ingve Berntsen / AFP / NTB
BRYNE: Erling Braut Haaland in a Bryne shirt as a 13-year-old talent. His years in the club means that Bryne is due to receive over ten million NOK from Manchester City. But the money won't arrive until next year. Picture: Alf Ingve Berntsen / AFP / NTB Vis mer

Dagbladet has contacted both Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. Less than an hour after Dagbladet’s question was sent, Dortmund responded:

«We inform that on a general basis, we do not comment on contractual matters.»

Manchester City has not responded. Neither has Alfie Haaland, Erling Braut Haaland's father.

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Solitary funds

Bryne, Molde and Red Bull Salzburg all have the right to receive payment after this year’s most discussed football transfer. This is due to an arrangement, so-called «solidarity funds», in which a total of five percent of the sales sum must be distributed among the clubs that have owned a player from when the player was 12 until he is 23 years old.

As Haaland was sold to Manchester City while he was still 21, in his case the sum to be divided is a little less than five percent.

However, this still involves a significant sum for a club such as Bryne, who are battling in the lower half of the OBOS League.

«We will receive around NOK 10 million, depending on the Euro exchange rate. This is a huge bonus for us. We will get the biggest share, but Molde, Red Bull Salzburg and perhaps also Dortmund will get a payout», says Hans Øyvind Sagen at Bryne.

- Why is this so?

«I assume that they envisage benefits for one or other party».

The management team at Molde has not responded to Dagbladet’s queries.

- Surprising

Andreas Selliaas, an expert on sports finance and blogger at Idrettspolitikk.no, points out that it is common practice to divide up payment sums. However, he says:

«What is somewhat surprising in this case is that Borussia Dortmund has apparently agreed to this type of arrangement. Why none of the clubs has communicated this, I have no idea.

EXPERT: Andreas Selliaas has investigated football finance for years. Picture: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB
EXPERT: Andreas Selliaas has investigated football finance for years. Picture: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB Vis mer

He explained the payment arrangement as follows:

«It is common to divide the sum into regular instalments over the player’s entire contract period, usually for accounts-related reasons. In many cases, clubs that have outstanding sums sell the receivable to a bank. The club can then receive all of the money at once, against the bank receiving a part of the total sum. For example, you can sell a receivable of 60 million Euro for 57 million. The bank then receives the instalments over several years, whilst the club receives its part immediately.»

Currency gambling

For Bryne, the deferred payment means that the club has to gamble on fluctuations in the Euro exchange rate.

«We can secure a receivable against the current Euro exchange rate. However, we have to consider whether we believe the Euro will go up, or down. If we do not secure the funds and the Euro exchange rate falls dramatically, it will go badly for us. At the same time, we can risk losing money if the exchange rate rises – and so we choose the safe solution.

- Like a mortgage, with fixed or variable interest?

«Yes, just like that.»

Investigated

All sales of players are regulated by the Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP). The regulations are intended to ensure that clubs operate in a financially responsible manner – even though teams such as Manchester City have extremely wealthy owners who have enough money to pump in unlimited funds.

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Andreas Selliaas’ opinion is that it does not appear that the Haaland transfer has anything to do with City’s FFP issues.

«This has nothing to do with FFP, as far as I can see», he says.

City has twice had run-ins with these regulations. As reported on Idrettspolitikk.no, last year the club concluded a protracted legal case, precisely in relation to FFP. City managed to get the imposed sanctions reduced, after they were initially barred from the Champions League for two years and fined 30 million Euro.

In May of this year, the British newspaper Mail on Sunday revealed that the Premier League were still investigating Manchester City for breaches of FFP. The issue being investigated concerns whether City has inflated its income with the help of sponsors in the United Arab Emirates – associated with City’s owners in Abu Dhabi.

Dagbladet has asked Manchester City about how the case stands today. City has not responded.

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