Frankfurt/Main - Transfers, potential or actual, are always a hot conversational topic among fans of the game. But what, exactly, is the procedure to be followed when a player moves club, with the formalities often going down to the wire on transfer deadline day? bundesliga.com has the background skinny for you.

Once all parties have agreed terms and the player concerned has passed his medical, the move has to be made official. This is done by registering it on the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) transfer list, a prerequisite for the issuing of a playing permit.

Regulations governing a transfer

As of 2001, the awarding and retraction of playing permits is the exclusive remit of the League Association and/or the DFL, each of which has independent executive powers in this regard. The DFL sets out the guidelines for a transfer, which are codified in the 'License Regulations for Players'. One of the conditions for inclusion on the transfer list is that a written application has to be handed in by 12 noon on any regular workday.

The DFL then checks whether all relevant pre-existing contracts have been correctly terminated or given notice on, and that any objections to the move have been formally dealt with. In order for a playing permit to be granted, all necessary paperwork then has to be in the hands of the League Association by 18:00 on the closing day of the transfer window.

Once an application has been approved, the following details are published on the transfer list:
  • the player's name and date of birth
  • the transfer list number and season
  • the club releasing the player
  • the day from which the new contract is valid
  • as required, the club signing the player and player's removal from the list

A player is removed from the transfer list when the League Association has a copy of the new contract(s). As of that point, he is eligible to play for his new club, and until then still eligible to turn out for his former club.

Last-minute applications

A transfer can only be formally concluded and a playing permit issued when a player appears on the official list. The transfer list remains open all year round and a player can be placed on it on any regular working day. However, there are only two annual windows of opportunity for transfers to be completed. These normally run from 1-31 January and from the start of a new season, according to the relevant frame-date calendar, until 31 August.

An exception to the latter is made when the final day of August coincides with a public holiday or the weekend. In those instances, the deadline is extended through to the end of the next workday.

Alexander Dionisius