Stupid transfer conditions that ended up biting Liverpool, Real Madrid et al in the bum

Steven Chicken
Casemiro in his Real Madrid days
Real Madrid effectively had to pay to get Casemiro back from loan

Reports have claimed that Chelsea are owed £5m as part of the deal that took Eden Hazard to Real Madrid five years ago – despite the Belgian playing his last game for the Spanish champions over a year ago and retiring from football altogether last autumn.

Adopting a very broad approach because frankly contracts are boring, we present you with yet more tales of stupid transfer conditions that ended up biting clubs in the behind.

Real Madrid’s really weird loan-to-permanent-to-buyback business

Let’s start with yet more Real Madrid silliness costing them good money, this time for Casemiro.

The midfielder’s early appearances for Real Madrid was in need of more experience of senior European football after his move from Sao Paulo, so they sent him out on loan to Porto. So far, so sensible.

READ MORE: Hazard pay: Chelsea set for laughable £5m windfall thanks to silly Real Madrid transfer clause

However, Real had included a €15m option to make that into a permanent move, which Porto duly took up. In return, Real activated a clause that allowed them to keep hold of Casemiro as long as they paid Porto €7.5m.

It isn’t quite clear whether that money was on top of what Porto had just paid them, or the number outright; either they’ve paid good money to get their own player back from loan, or they’ve effectively got a €7.5m loan fee from Porto, which was a lot more money in 2014 than it is now. We’re sure there’s reasons it made sense at the time, but it seems needlessly complicated.

Newcastle have a right laugh forcing Liverpool and Chelsea to waste a hell of a lot of money

The January transfer deadline day drama that has set expectations much too high for every single mid-season trading period ever since.

You know the story, of course, unless you’re a teenager (in which case welcome, tell your friends we say you are wicked fly): Chelsea desperately, urgently wanted Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011. The Reds’ asking price? £15m, plus Andy Carroll…who played for a third club, Newcastle United.

As such, Newcastle had a whale of a time whacking a stupid £35m price tag on their extremely flavour-of-the-month striker. That’s the equivalent of around £96m in today’s transfer money, according to the Totally Money transfer inflation calculator.

Chelsea said ‘fine’ to that £50m fee they had to pay as a result (£138m today), but because they’re Chelsea and can’t generally tell a good centre-forward from a garden gnome, they set their budget at a ludicrous level for a player who was a scowling shadow of the beautiful free-scoring boy he had been in his first couple of years at Anfield.

Carroll was crap business for Liverpool too, of course, because it was 2011 and they simply didn’t do good business then.

Emmanuel Adebayor needs God’s thumbs-up for transfer move

There’s a lot of levels of approval that clubs have to go through to get deals done: the selling club, agents, the player, the Premier League, UEFA, international clearance, etc etc. But the Almighty generally does not get to have a say (any more than He already does in all things, anyway).

Nonetheless, Emmanuel Adebayor decided to wait and see if God was cool with him making the move from Tottenham to Aston Villa in summer 2015, deciding after meeting with a pastor that he needed a sign before he completed a move that was all but done. Like, actual God, not Robbie Fowler.

Surprisingly, God did not offer any explicit approval to link back up with Tim Sherwood, so the move was off. Adebayor got his release a few weeks later by mutual consent and joined Crystal Palace the following January. God likes Alan Pardew, apparently. Who knew?

Burnley won’t break policy to pay young Michael Essien more than minimum wage

Now look, youth football can be a poor predictor of future success, but let’s just recall that Michael Essien was indisputably very good when he was young, starring for Ghana at the U17 World Championships. Manchester United had offered Michael Essien a contract when he was just 17 years old, only to fall down on his work permit.

That does take a bit of the sting off things for Burnley, then, who would unlikely have fared much better in convincing the Home Office to acquiesce. But the Clarets stupidly never even got as far as troubling Jack Straw’s department (probably just as well, since he’s a Blackburn fan).

Despite having Essien in on trial as in 1999 – the same year as United’s offer, just to confirm – club policy at the time said they would not pay more than £60 a week for their trainees, regardless how good they were, and thus the opportunity to take the future Chelsea superstar to Turf Moor was lost.

READ NEXT: Five Man Utd midfield targets named as the Mailbox claims ‘fans need refereeing mistakes’ in VAR debate