Feyenoord is going to have a few busy weeks. The team from Rotterdam had an excellent season with a third place in the Eredivisie and a final place in the Conference League. Other clubs seem to pay a high price for Feyenoord players on the transfer market for this. The half base is in the interest of Top Five League-clubs. That is not a cause for great concern; even an empty run provides a golden opportunity for the people of Rotterdam.
Feyenoord is finally in the phase that other clubs will pay the main price for the developments within the club. Since the appointment of Arne Slot, who has been in charge of technical leadership in De Kuip since last season, the Rotterdammers have been making strong progress in the Eredivisie and in Europe. With fresh, attacking football, Slot created a completely different atmosphere around the Rotterdam club with almost the same player selection. The future is being looked at positively again, the collaboration with Slot has already been extended by a season (until 2024, ed.) and if it is up to Feyenoord, there will be a few more years. Before technical director Frank Arnesen can complete those talks, the Dane and Slot still have a number of solid transfer nuts to crack.
A top Dutch club always pays its price for European success. It will be no different for Feyenoord. The Rotterdammers work with limited resources, Feyenoord’s start transfer budget is said to be five million euros, although that is no longer even a special feature in Rotterdam. Also last season, when the transfer from Steven Berghuis (5.5 million euros) to Ajax was the most lucrative of the entire transfer summer, few millions were present in De Kuip and Arnesen succeeded with purchases such as Gernot Trauner (one million euros). , Fredrik Aursnes (450,000 euros), Marcus Pedersen (one million euros) and hiring Cyriel Dessers (KRC Genk), Guus Til (Spartak Moscow) and Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) to get a team together where Arne Slot is a successful formation could form.
As a result, Feyenoord now finds itself in a new situation. Although the sporting environment changed as night turns into day, the financial management of the Rotterdammers is still far from optimal – especially if you compare it with Ajax, PSV and AZ. There has been talk for years about external financiers, such as to be able to definitively take over Cyriel Dessers from Genk, or a sale of the share package that still belongs to the Friends of Feyenoord (minority interest of 49%, ed.). The easiest way for a club to boost the bank account is of course the transfer market, although that mainly causes headaches for Arne Slot and his technical staff.
The list of clubs behind Marcos Senesi, Tyrell Malacia, Orkun Kökçü, Justin Bijlow and Luis Sinisterra is growing by the day. Lutsharel Geertruida and Trauner could also leave, but the first quartet of players seem to have a serious chance at a top transfer this summer. That creates a new chain of record transfer rumors and updates on negotiations. The fact that Feyenoord actually has to deal with three different transfer strategies here only makes it more interesting.
The millions who have to
The player that Feyenoord must sell this summer is called Marcos Senesi. The Argentine defender has been associated with a top transfer since the end of his first season with Feyenoord. AC Milan, Real Madrid and especially Napoli would have been interested. At the Italian top club, that interest would not even be a thing of the past. The Serie A giant would still like to take over Senesi, partly due to the Italian passport that the Argentinian also has in his possession. As a result, Senesi falls outside the ‘non-EU registration rules’ of the Italian league. That only works out well for Feyenoord in this regard: with a contract until 2023, the club no longer has many options to get the high transfer fee out.
Feyenoord paid no less than seven million euros to San Lorenzo in the summer of 2019 to be able to take over Senesi. The central defender, who can now call himself an Argentine international due to the successful Conference League campaign, can be signed by Feyenoord for a higher salary until 2024 due to a unilateral option in the defender’s contract. The fact that the Rotterdammers have not yet done so may have to do with the cost-benefit analysis of the Senesi transfer. Seven million euros in transfer fee, signing premium for the player, commission for the agent, three years of top salary: then as a selling club you have to collect between ten and thirteen million euros to break even.
If Feyenoord extend the contract, keep Senesi in De Kuip for another season, that amount will be at least one million euros more next season and you depend on the performance of the player and the team to still collect that high transfer fee. The market value of Senesi is estimated by Transfermarkt.nl at 17 million euros (June 8, 2022) and since that is the amount generally paid for a one-year contract, that would theoretically be the ideal deal for Feyenoord.
The oldest revenue model
The club can of course also ensure that the possible losses surrounding Senesi can be absorbed with other transfers. If you look at the outgoing transfers from Feyenoord, the record transfer from Dirk Kuyt to Liverpool is not only a special one because of the eighteen million euros that The Reds paid to Feyenoord. The former FC Utrecht player is the only outside purchase who initially made the top five record transfers – and also painfully charts the transfer blasphemy of recent years.
However, Feyenoord always has one trump up its sleeve: the youth academy. Rick Karsdorp (16 million euros, AS Roma), Terence Kongolo (15 million euros, AS Monaco), Jordy Clasie (15 million euros, Southampton) and Royston Drenthe (14 million euros, Real Madrid) left Feyenoord for large sums. From the current Feyenoord selection, Malacia, Kökçü and Bijlow have a chance this summer to join that list, or place themselves above Kuyt on the list of record sales of the Rotterdam team.
The situation in the past was that these transfer fees often had to be used to cover past losses. That is in large part the reason that Feyenoord did not fall even further behind in the traditional top three, it also ensures that Feyenoord did not grow further financially in recent years. There are enough proven concepts within football to be able to achieve this. To be able to do that at all, one condition applies: Feyenoord’s two transfer earnings models (purchase-sale of players and resale of self-trained footballers) must reinforce each other instead of complementing each other. This requires return on the transfer market, for example paying two million euros for an unknown Colombian and selling him for tens of millions years later as the Luis Sinisterra.
To achieve this, Feyenoord really only has one key to success: the combination between Arne Slot and Frank Arnesen. The trainer is waiting for the biggest challenge of his career this season. Not only does he have to match a super season and there is a good chance that he will have to miss at least two basic players from that successful formation. The fact that the technical director of Feyenoord also extended his contract is perhaps the biggest gain the club has made in recent times. This way Slot knows that next season there will be opportunities such as Aurnses or Dessers.
The main pitfall for Feyenoord, however, also lies in the powers of God that are offered to players today. Twenty million for Malacia is a lot of money, but the left back is almost indispensable for Slot, who also does not have a ‘type Malacia’ as a direct replacement. Ian Maatsen (Chelsea) is associated with the Rotterdam team, but with a World Cup on the way, it is also an opportunity for Feyenoord to keep the talented left back longer and to really cash in after the World Cup. After all, the club is in a luxury position: players in other positions are also in the spotlight and these players are a lot easier to replace than Malacia.
Gun Senesi’s Champions League adventure. Sell Kökçü to Sevilla or grant Sinisterra his dream transfer. Those tens of millions are not only useful for supplementing the club’s equity – for example, for buying out the Friends of Feyenoord. They can also be called upon for new opportunities that fit seamlessly into Slot’s football vision. Those costs more than three million euros (Patrik Walemark, ed.) than one million (Aursnes/Jahanbakhsh), are still less expensive than a purchase such as Senesi and therefore potentially only yield more returns for Feyenoord. Then the club not only has a well-filled bank account, but it can also financially facilitate a trainer who will absorb the inevitable transfer from Slot to a European (top) club. After all, Feyenoord cannot start early enough with that preparation.
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