Eli5: What exactly are Release Clauses in football?


This question also includes confusion about buy-on/sell-on clauses.

In: 1

If a player has a release clause of £25m (just as an example), the selling club doesn’t have to listen to any offers before £25m. £25m or above, they have to accept.

For the sell-on clause, it’s usually a percentage so that the selling club gets a fee for the players next transfer after moving to the buying club. For example, team A sells a player to team B and this includes a 10% sell-on clause. If team B sells the same player to another team (including back to team A), team A will get 10% of the fee back.

No one mentioned buy/sell on clause yet, so I’ll talk about that. Club A sells a player to Club B with a 10% sell-on clause. If Club B then sells that player to Club C, Club A gets 10% of the transfer fee. This is useful players that will typically increase in value or be highly sought after.

With a buy clause, Club A loans a player to Club B on a loan-to-buy option with an agreed tranfer fee. If Club B likes the player, they’ll trigger the buy clause and pay the transfer fee. Clubs will use a buy clause to get a cheaper transfer fee, as with a loan, the salaries of the player are either paid entirely or partially by team B, so they stand to save a bit of cash. If team B doesn’t like the player, the player simply returns to their parent club.