Articles From the Team

Can you compare The Football Transfer Market to the NQ Market?

As September is nearly over, it marks the end of the football transfer market which as usual gets more bizarre each year. However, September also marks the beginning of the end for the NQ season with most newly qualified solicitors starting in September. My colleague Juliet asked if it was possible to compare the transfer market to the NQ market so I thought I’d give it my best shot and actually came across some very interesting comparisons.

Firstly the transfer market opens on the 9th June which happens to be around the same time BCL start to get instructions for NQ vacancies across the board. Whilst there is no set date for the NQ season to begin we often find May to June will be the start of the first interviews and really kick starts the season.

On the same day of the transfer market, clubs decide to announce which players will be released from their contracts or their contracts have expired and they no longer have a role to play at that club. Compare this to the list of NQ roles being announced in your current firm and finding out there won’t be an opportunity in the area you wanted and you then have to look for a new firm. Both situations are very similar with neither are a great position to be in. However, all is not lost! As football players have agents to help them, lawyers have recruitment consultant to help them find their next ideal role.

Each transfer window there are usually a few teams who aim to do business as quickly as possible so they can head off into pre-season to fully prepare for the next 12 months of football. Manchester United’s current manager Jose Mourinho is a classic example of getting the business done early. This year in Leeds firms such as Walker Morris had a fantastic start to the NQ season with 100% retention rate and also a couple of early hires. An early start to the transfer market/NQ market allows both the law firm and football club to be fully prepared heading into September which is a busy period for both industries which is obviously beneficial to both.

The middle of both the markets usually follows similar trends. Firms continue to hire NQ’s and Football clubs continue to bring in new players to strengthen their side.

However, every year towards the last couple of weeks a wave is usually sent through the market with an unexpected transfer request or in the case of law firms a notice being handed in. This begins to send havoc across both the markets. Law firms tend to get straight on the phone to legal recruiters to see if there was anyone that could potentially fit the bill and with football firms they start contact football agents to see if they have any players on their books that would be interested in a move at this late stage. Usually there are a few unexpected moves that nobody could see coming on both sides of the market. For example the much publicised move of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain for £198 million was a move nobody saw coming. Whilst this can’t be directly compared to specific individuals, I’d like to think the unexpectedness of moves from lawyers who qualify into an area of law they haven’t done just yet to be equally as surprising to the legal recruitment move.

Finally the most obvious comparison in both markets in my opinion is salary. Salaries are increasing year on year for NQ’s in Leeds with the highest salary jumping to £42,000 a year which was up a couple of thousand up on the top salary a couple of years ago. In terms of football salaries….I the less said the better on this subject, but the current highest salary in Europe stands at £28 million pounds a year which ha been on a steep rise for the past decade.

As September ends NQ’s will be starting their new roles and if the role you have taken isn’t what you thought it would be then BCL Legal are here to have an honest open and confidential discussion with you about what options you have in your current position.

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