January 19, The Athletic UK Spanish reporter Dermot Corrigan interviewed
Elias Zamora, Sevilla’s chief data officer.
Sevilla developed the “Transfer Tracker” data tool, which has been rolled out to clubs around the world.
Zamora said: “This system benefits clubs and federations worldwide so they don’t miss out on any transfers that bring them money. If you don’t make a claim, you never get it.
money, because potential buyers will never warn you.”
In Seville, Zamora leads a team of seven data scientists, including experts in computer science, physics and mathematics.
They developed a series of software applications for internal use – AI Radar (for scouting), AI Football (for analytics), AI Ticketing (for marketing) and AI Tracking (now renamed Transfer Tracker).
Moreover, this tool has nothing to do with Sevilla director Monchi. It is more that when the legal department found out that their team’s youth training was resold in various ways, Sevilla did not receive the due youth training compensation and share.
“We have our own database, independent of FIFA,” Zamora said cautiously. “There are some commercial data, some external, some internal. We cannot guarantee, not at all, that all transfer fees are correct.
. We may not know the exact fee paid, but we have some intuition about the amount of the transfer fee.”
In the past 18 months, Sevilla have “chased” about 1 million euros through this database, and finally harvested the money by identifying the transfer traces of more than 700 players developed within the club.
The biggest sum is the €150,000 Real Madrid owed when they sold Sergio Reguilon to Tottenham in 2020, as Reguilon spent last season on loan at Sevilla.
They will earn around €10,000 when their former midfielder Mathias Kranewitt moved from Mexican club Monterrey to Argentina’s River Plate in January.
They could get more in return if former youth players Brian Hill (Tottenham Hotspur) or Sergio Rico (Paris Saint-Germain) move.
“The exact amount depends on the situation, but usually we’re talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of euros,” Zamora said. “But if there are 700 flows, then it adds up.”
Sevilla have some added financial benefits through their close relationship with LaLiga Tech.
LaLiga Tech was spun out of Laliga’s in-house technology division, which is 51 percent owned by IT multinational Globant.
Before launching the service, LaLiga Tech analyzed existing partner clubs in Spain, South America and Europe, including a British club outside the Premier League.
They found that, on average, clubs can make a total claim of €3.4m – much higher than what they actually get for those clubs who have produced many players who have since been involved in big-money transfers.
For example, Porto were due a six-figure fee when Casemiro joined Manchester United from Real Madrid last summer, having spent the 2014-15 season on loan at the Portuguese side.
LaLiga Tech is currently processing the first claims from clubs using the service.
Gonzalez said the length of the process depends on how “friendly” the club that owes the money is in accepting the responsibility.
“If the clubs react quickly – because they are professional and understand their responsibilities – we can process the first payments within two weeks. If they try to obstruct, the process will be referred to FIFA. If necessary, the
Take legal action. There is no way for them to escape responsibility.”
This project of LaLiga Tech is more like an intermediary behavior, drawing a percentage from the compensation that the club finally receives, and then paying a certain percentage to Sevilla.
While FIFA estimated in November that “nearly $400 million” should be distributed to clubs each year through FIFA’s Global Solidarity mechanism, in reality more than $300 million is actually not distributed each year – usually
It’s up to wealthier clubs to take advantage of those with fewer resources, which either don’t know or can’t get the money they’re owed.
LaLiga Tech’s Gonzalez concluded: “The youth team that develops the players deserves what they deserve, and in some cases they do lose money, but most of the time we are chasing money in the right way.
At least give the small teams some soup to drink, and the football world and the transfer market will be more fair.”