The loophole that could allow Franck Ribery to leave Bayern Munich for €16m

Frenchman will become a bargain in the summer of 2010

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Real Madrid have reportedly offered €55m for the services of Franck Ribery, but current employers Bayern Munich are doing everything they can to hang on to the Bundesliga’s biggest star. According to a loophole in FIFA regulations, however, it is well within the German club’s interest to cash in this summer, as they risk losing the midfielder for a lot less in 2010.

Spanish paper AS have reminded us of Article 17 of the FIFA Regulations, better known as the Webster ruling. This clause stipulates that any player between the ages of 23 and 28 may walk away from his club, provided he has served three years of a four or five-year contract. Ribery will have served three years of his five year deal at the end of the 2009/10 season, and will therefore be able to invoke the clause.

To find out how much compensation Bayern Munich would be owed if the clause was invoked, AS consulted Juan de Dios Crespo, the prestigious lawyer who won the landmark case with Scottish defender Andy Webster. In Crespo’s opinion, the Bavarian side would be compensated somewhere between €16m and €22m, on the basis of his €25m transfer fee to the club in 2007 and his €5m-a-year wages.

If Bayern Munich did not did not let Ribery leave in 2010, FIFPro could report the club to the European Commission as they would be posing an obstruction the player’s freedom of movement.

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