Football

Atletico Madrid Midfielder Was Sold To A Dublin Company And Eyebrows Are Being Raised

Atletico Madrid Midfielder Was Sold To A Dublin Company And Eyebrows Are Being Raised

Quality Football Ireland is an entity that not many football fans will have heard about. It's by no means a secret but, at the same time, it doesn't exactly shout from the rooftops about the fact that it plays a significant part in the careers of the some of the world's most high profile footballers.

According to company records, Quality Football Ireland Ltd was set up in May 2010 and is listed as having an address in Dublin's docklands, at the office of an accountancy firm. Essentially, the company and its subsidiaries buy up the economic rights of players and sell them off in the hope of a tidy profit.

It wouldn't be going too far to suggest that Ireland has been chosen as a base due to our 'competitive' tax situation and the company has been trading away in recent years with quite a lot of its business being done with Portuguese clubs. As an example, the deal which brought Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon to Norwich would have seen QSI bring in a healthy chunk of the rumoured €10 million fee after the Irish company had earlier bought the rights to the Dutch striker for somewhere in the region of €3 million.

It's not the way anyone wants to see football run but it's the way of the world and Ireland's low corporate tax rate ensures that this country has a significant part to play in it. So if it's been going on for over six years, why are we talking about it now?

Thanks to Football Leaks, news has broken that Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has also been partly bought up by the Irish company and, considering his high profile status in La Liga, this certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by the Spanish press.

The deal took place all the way back in 2013 with QSI receiving 30% of the Spanish international midfielder in exchange for a 'partial settling of debt' which Atletico owed to QSI stemming from the deal which brought Argentine attacker Eduardo Salvio to the Vicente Calderon. Essentially, 30% of Koke's value was sold to the Irish company for €3 million euro with Atletico obliged to inform QSI of any bid for the midfielder.

Under the terms of the contract, should Atletico reject a bid, QSI would be entitled to demand 30% of any transfer bid in exchange for their share of the player. The deal also confirmed that if Koke signed a new deal with Atletico, which he did in 2014, QSI could opt to recoup their €3 million investment or they could choose to continue to uphold their 30% interest in the player. Given that it is the original contract that has been leaked, there's no confirmation about which option they chose but, if we were going to have a bet, we'd suggest they more than likely would have kept hold of their delightful 30% of a now Spanish international who's value was beginning to skyrocket.

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All a bit shady perhaps, but nonetheless legal. However, that's not to say that there hasn't been a fair amount of criticism over the deal that has come to light today.

Incredible. All legal? Nobody wants to investigate. I wonder.

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Koke's subsequent value, which is thought to be somewhere in the region of €50 million, and the fact that the deal came about as a result of Atletico clearing a debt with QSI, all point to the fact that the La Liga giants were effectively taken to the cleaners (entirely legally we might add) during the deal.

Welcome to modern day football and the world of big business.

See also: Celtic Fans Show Remarkable Commitment To Taking The Piss As Rangers Win Promotion

Gary Reilly

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