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Apr 16, 2020 | Risk Management

Managing transfers worldwide and establishing global connections

In the summer of 2018 as Fulham Football Club secured promotion to the Premier League, Western Union Business Solutions launched its partnership with the Club. It was an interesting period for both Club and partner as a busy transfer window followed.

Here, Tony Khan, Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations at Fulham Football Club discusses the importance of the partnership and the benefit of working with Western Union Business Solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also how both organisations have worked together since 2018 regarding player transfers.

“These are unprecedented times around the world. We can’t predict how long this will go on for and understand that the health and safety of everyone is the only thing that is truly important at this time.  I hope that every fan, staff member, player and member of the Fulham family is staying safe.

“Looking beyond this terrible pandemic, financial sustainability is also of primary importance to a professional football club like ours. We must ensure that there is a robust model in place that enables us to operate effectively and manage financial risk to help us navigate uncertainty, including upheavals such as the one we’re currently witnessing, while also remaining competitive on the pitch.

“A staple concern for us as a club - and we do look forward to the time when we can return to our game and our fans - is when working exclusively on player trading, there are several determining factors that must be considered when evaluating a potential transfer. Not only must I work within a specific budget, but I must also ensure we are compliant with profit and sustainability rules. This means we must plan carefully and always looking to the long-term when making decisions on the pitch.   

“Our relationship with Western Union Business Solutions is very important to us when it comes to our transfer activity. It has helped us to operate efficiently by managing currency volatility, which has proved crucial when conducting business with teams in Europe. We scour the globe for our players, and I know that Western Union has provided us with an excellent service and very competitive exchange rates since the Summer of 2018 which has enabled us to trade effectively in the market.

“I look for many things when contemplating a potential transfer, with the requirements of our squad to compete being the most important. There are many factors that will alert me to a player being a potential acquisition, and they are part of a rigorous process that considers footballing talent, statistical analysis, squad fit and obviously cost.  

“To the outside, January may not look like it was a particularly busy month for the club, but there was some important work done. We made loan deals permanent for both Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Decordova-Reid, who have each featured and contributed for us regularly since they arrived in the summer. We added depth at goalkeeper by signing Jordan Archer, and we did a loan deal for Terence Kongolo, who sadly was injured shortly after his debut and is out for the rest of the season, which is unfortunate for both him and us. We also have improved the team with Michael Hector finally being cleared to play after signing for us in the summer. Michael’s experience and quality have strengthened our defence. I’m pleased with the squad we have, and I believe promotion is very much in the team’s hands now. 

“Football is unique because it has fans who invest in their team and their club, which other businesses don’t have. That fan support is what is so special about sport and sports clubs, and my aim is to do the right thing for Fulham, the team, and the fans.

“Currently, I’m exceptionally busy ensuring that everyone in our Fulham family, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars and All Elite Wrestling, is staying safe. I can’t wait to return to London to see everyone at Craven Cottage again when we are through this. I hope that we can soon go back to our plans, where the Jaguars will play an additional game in London this year, and if we can continue in the form we played this season, Fulham could also be playing in the Premier League! I am looking forward to being back at the Cottage when COVID-19 is behind us and we will together march forward towards brighter times.”