Huddersfield Town and Southend United both have reasons to avoid going to a transfer tribunal over midfielder Jack Payne, who is poised for a move to the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Londoner is out of contract in Essex, but because he is under 24 and has been offered a new deal, his current club are due a fee, which is currently under negotiation.
Payne, 21, came through Southend’s youth system and has made 88 appearances, netting 17 goals.
He was their top scorer with nine as the Shrimpers finished 15th in League I in the season just ended.
That’s the kind of information taken into account by a tribunal, whose valuation is non-negotiable and hard to predict.
Another problem is that there can be delays in a selling club receiving their money because increments for reaching certain numbers of appearances can be included.
For instance, the tribunal-set fee for Oscar Gobern’s transfer from Southampton to Town in 2011 was an initial £275,000 rising to a possible £400,000.
A Professional Football Compensation Committee, to give it its proper name, is not a standing, permanent body, but an ad hoc group of four or five people formed as and when necessary.
There are certain organisations that have to be represented, but the specific identity of the individuals involved changes according to the clubs involved to prevent conflicts of interest.
A tribunal will usually be made up of people from within football with legal experience or backgrounds in handling contracts and transfers – club secretaries or lawyers most often.
As well as a chairman, there will normally be an appointee of each of the leagues involved in the transfer, although if both clubs play in the same division only one is necessary.
There will also be an appointee of the Professional Footballers’ Association and the League Managers’ Association.
There is a set list of factors to consider, including the age of the player, the terms on which he was engaged by the club he is leaving and any fee they paid to sign him, and the period of service.
Also taken into account are the terms of the new contracts offered by each club, the player’s record in terms of first-team appearances and any interest shown by others.
The two clubs involved in the deal must provide evidence to support their valuations.
The aim of a PFCC is to reach a decision by a logical and attributable process using precedents and all available information.