Model for professionals’ sports,

it could be a dream



By Romain Chapron

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



When I was young, I said, “Why could I not become a professional soccer player?”. But how many kids, students or teenagers have already thought of that? It’s a dream for everyone who are passionate for a sport to live thanks to it. Nowadays, players show their daily life in the social network and obviously it’s a dream life, everything it’s possible. Most of the footballer player earn very well his life. Unfortunately, it is not easy as it seems. Those top players represent the emerged part of the iceberg, the other has forgotten their study in order to focus their career in football, but it never happens anything after. That’s why making from your passion your own job is a tough career path. However, if you work hard and you make the right decisions at the good moment, it could be one of the most lucrative job in the world. Neymar is currently earning the amount of 1 € per second, only with his salary (which doesn’t cover his sponsorship compensation and rewards). But people forget one thing. He is one of the best guys in his job! We are used to comparing us (and our wages) to them and to say, “he is paid too much, just to kick a ball around”. But Neymar is not a common guy, he is one of the best soccer players in the world, he is valuable.

Keywords: Compensation, Contracts, Sports, Professional, Payment, FIFA, Sport clause, Contracts issue.



Football is a global marketplace and top players relocate constantly. “Zinedine Zidane, for example, played for clubs in the Spain, Italy and France over the course of his career”[1]. Professional players sign contracts with clubs for a fixed term of up to five years. If a player transfers before their contract expires, the new club pays compensation to the old one. This is known as a transfer fee. Twice a year. FIFA regulation set out two annual periods during which clubs can buy in foreign players, known as transfer windows. The longer transfer window falls between seasons and the shorter one falls mid-season. In the space of ten years, the price of football transfer has totally skyrocketed. Each season, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in order to engage the best footballer’s services possible. Last summer the transfer window is entered in a new era, the one of excesses. Indeed, “Paris Saint Germain has laid out more than 220 million to pay the buyout clause of the Brazilian superstar Neymar with a wage of £2.7m a month before tax”[2]. Obviously, there are much secret bonuses which is included in the Neymar contract. But how Neymar and his agent has negotiated perfectly his contract? If you want to do the same, you have to read this document.

In order to understand this phenomenon, it’s important to know the specificity of the sports contract. When you play for a professional sports team, you are the employee of a company (the club), as a consequence, you have also an employer. Like a traditional job, you have to sign a contract with your boss (the president of the club) and respect the different clause presented in your contract. But one of the particularities is that there are so many actors during a transfer. Indeed, not only the player has to sign the contract but also their agent, the club and all their lawyers.

The football agent act like a project manager in order to manage his player. The Career of the player is considered like a project where the main goal is to allow him to achieve his dream (it can be to join a club or to earn a huge wage). According to the Guild of Project Controls an asset is “a tangible or intangible resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit”[3].Nowadays the professional player is considered as a real human asset for the agent. Most of the time project manager in sport use the strategic program which is linked to a specific goal, increase the value of his portfolio. The Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS) based on research by Sergio Pellegrinelli offer a definition of the strategic program « Deliver assets and benefits that are directly linked to attaining the sponsoring organization’s future state » [4]..

In this way, the project manager (agent) has a portfolio of asset (player) where the main objective is to place them in the best club in order to get back a huge amount of money. Obviously, he has to represent their client, to act as the mediator between their client and his club, negotiate new deals with his present club on matters such as salary and personal terms and to help finalize new transfers. In the player contract, this includes details of salaries and bonuses, such as signing-on and loyalty bonuses. Players also undergo medical examinations to check they are fit to play. If this reveals previously undetected injuries, it can affect the size of the transfer fee.


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Chapron, R. (2019). Model for professionals’ sports, it could be a dream, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue I (January).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/pmwj78-Jan2019-Chapron-model-for-professional-sports-student-paper.pdf


About the Author

Romain Chapron

Paris, France




Romain Chapron is a 23 year old French student, currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Project and Programme Management and Business Development at Skema Business School.

After graduating at the university catholic of Lille, Romain joined the French Business School SKEMA. At the beginning of 2017, he did an internship in a start-up called Synbud as a Business Developer. This innovative company consists of a search engine working the same way as Google but specialized in travels. This experience was a way for him to confirm his interest in Project Management and innovation.

He has excellent problem-solving skills and is an effective team member with a strong ability to work in a team. Overall, Romain’s energy, his remarkable ability to learn and to catch new key accounts will make him an excellent collaborator with strong leadership.

As a student of Project Management, he has gotten the certifications of AgilePM and Prince 2 Foundation, which proves he is qualified to be a project team member.

You can contact him at: [email protected]


[1] This information comes from: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zin%C3%A9dine_Zidane

[2] Matthew Smith, 2018, the original text is available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5357087/PSG-star-Neymar-earns-double-Mbappe-Cavanis-wages.html

[3] The original definition is available at: http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/introduction-to-managing-project-controls

[4] The original definition is available at: http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/introduction-to-managing-project-controls