Football transfer market vs engineers' jobs market

Elaine Kennedy 18.08.2017

As the premiership has just kicked off, a lot of talk after the first few weeks was about what each team needs to challenge for the title, to stay up, or to push for European places.

With some transfer already done over the summer, it looks like a lot more is yet to be done before the window closes.

As I was reading the experts' opinions on what each team needs who and which moves best suit certain players, I couldn’t help but think how the transfer market is very much like the Jobs market, and how the decisions that players make are similar to that of any engineering job hunter.

If we look at one of the main transfer sagas of the summer which is De Gea to Madrid, he is already at the top level at a very successful club who are renowned for developing young talent, but the call to go back to his home town of Madrid is a bit too hard to ignore, coupled with the much better wages he would get there.

I see something similar in the jobs market every day where most people will try to get a job closer to home if possible, and some are even willing to take a pay cut to reduce their commute, or to live closer to friends or family. And bear in mind that this is regardless of their current companies culture of development and progression.

Location is a big factor for a lot of people, if we look at last year’s signing of the season, Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal. He apparently had a better offer at Liverpool, but chose London over Liverpool as the city was more appealing to him.

For footballers, a lot of them have a few reasons or motivations to move:

  • Money
  • Champions League opportunities
  • More game time
  • Location
  • Fall out with manager
  • Further career


In the jobs market, the reasons are quite similar:

  • More money
  • Better positions/ progression
  • Better work life balance
  • Location
  • Poor relationship with boss
  • Better company culture


For all employers whether they're a football club or a manufacturing company, it can be tough to attract the best players/ candidates. The likes of Newcastle find it hard to get top class people in due to location, the poor reputation of the owner, and league position, so similar to Newcastle, companies in difficult locations have to sometimes go for less experienced players that show potential, or people looking to get their foot in the door trying to be seen in the premiership. 

Companies sometimes have to look at people with less experience, or with experience in different industries fully knowing these people might leave within a few years if a bigger company comes calling. Just like the case of Yohan Cabaye who came in to Newcastle in 2011 for £4.8 million to be sold then for £19 million 3 years later to PSG. Newcastle profited from a player looking to be seen in the premiership, while they were fully in the knowledge he may leave when a bigger club came calling.

I specialise in the recruitment of Engineers, and in finding the right people for the right roles. So if you are a company looking for your next Sanchez, Cabaye or Di Maria, or if you consider yourself to be a Suarez, De Gea or Sterling looking for a better move, please get in touch. And we’ll get you that move you are looking for.

At the moment there is high demand for manufacturing engineersmaintenance engineersproject engineers and process engineers.

Elaine Kennedy's picture
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