Private jets play a significant role in the football transfer market, facilitating the movement of players, their agents, coaches, and club executives across the globe.
The use of private jets provides unparalleled speed, flexibility, and privacy, enabling football clubs to conduct their transfer business more efficiently, effectively but more importantly, discreetly.
Private jets are the primary choice of transportation for football clubs during the transfer windows, the summer window which approaches soon, typically opens in early June and closes on ‘deadline day’. In 2022 all five major European leagues closed their transfer window on 1st September.
During this time, the clubs look to strengthen their squad by transferring players in or out of the club, either through buying/selling or on loan spells. The transfer market is highly competitive, and clubs must act quickly to secure their target before they potentially sign elsewhere. Private aviation enables club executives and players to travel to and from meetings and medicals quickly and efficiently, reducing the time and hassle associated with commercial travel.
Private jets also provide a certain level of privacy and security that is not always available on commercial flights or when travelling through passenger terminals. Football clubs will do everything they can to keep their transfer targets and negotiations confidential from the public or media, and to prevent other teams from attempting to disrupt the deal. Private jets enable clubs to travel without attracting media attention, allowing them to conduct their transfer business discreetly.
In addition to facilitating the movement of players and club executives, private aviation is also used by football agents. A football agent serves as a representative and intermediary for their players. They manage several aspects of a player’s career, from negotiating their contracts and terms with clubs & sponsors to handling public relations. Agents can travel extensively during the transfer window, meeting with various club representatives to discuss potential transfers. Private jets provide the agents with a fast, efficient, and comfortable way to travel, enabling them to maximise their productivity during a very busy and competitive period.
As well as the transfer market, private aviation also plays a role in international football tournaments. National teams participate in tournaments such as the World Cup, the European Championships, and Copa America. You will often see England national football team departing Birmingham – BHX, Airport – which is conveniently located near their training ground at St George’s Park, Staffordshire – home to all 23 England teams.
As tournaments are held in different countries, teams must travel extensively to participate. Private jets and group air charters provide football clubs with a bespoke air transport solution which enables them to arrive at their destination in optimal condition. This is crucial in a high-pressure tournament where every advantage counts.
Private aviation is also used by football clubs for pre-season tours. These tours enable clubs to travel to different countries and play friendly matches against other teams. Pre-season tours are an important part of a club’s preparations for the upcoming season, providing players with the opportunity to get match fit and build team cohesion.
Record signing and how he got there
On 31st January 23, Enzo Fernandez signed for Chelsea in a £106.8m British-record transfer deal from Benfica. Arriving from Lisbon on a luxury private jet together with his agent Uriel Perez, the player touched down at Farnborough Airport before arriving at Chelsea FC’s training ground in Cobham ahead of his unveiling.
As the deal was done on deadline day, the use of private jets ensured the clubs maintained discretion and were able to conclude the deal in a matter of hours before the transfer window shut.
Private Aviation: Key considerations
The use of private jets in the football transfer market is sadly not without incident.
Emiliano Sala was an Argentine professional footballer. On 21 January 2019, the 28-year-old player was flying from Nantes in France to Wales to join then Premier League club Cardiff City, when the Piper Malibu plane he was travelling in, crashed in the English Channel.
The accident had been the tragic result of an illegal charter.
In an effort to raise awareness about illegal charters, the Air Charter Association (ACA) has declared January 21 ‘Fly Legal Day’.
The key considerations for chartering aircraft:
- Safety Record: When booking private jets, it’s important to consider the safety record of the aircraft and the operator. Look for an operator with a strong safety culture and a track record of safe flights. Also, ensure that the aircraft is up to date with all required inspections and maintenance.
- Reputation & Reviews: Research the reputation of the charter company and read reviews from previous clients. Look for companies that have a good track record of customer service and reliability. Ask questions and expect direct answers. An aircraft operator with nothing to hide will be happy to answer your queries and provide supporting documents and evidence of a well maintained fleet.
- Use a known, reliable, and experienced broker: An air charter broker provides intermediary services between the airline and the customer. They will only source aircraft from authorised operators who have been vetted, checked, and qualified by compliance and legal teams. With the relevant documents scrutinised, the chartering experts are there to ensure you travel in luxury, but not before doing their due diligence and compliance checks.
Travel safely and in style
From private jets to corporate travel, we will arrange everything you need so that you can get to where you’re going, on budget and on time.
We work closely with our risk and compliance specialists and only work with authorised and carefully selected airlines and operators.
With a private air charter, you can schedule a flight at a time that suits you and take off from an aviation terminal of your choosing. Private chartering allows you to manage all the details, from the departure time to the food you’d like served on board.
Sit back, relax, and sip your champagne, safe in the knowledge that we’re working behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of your luxury travel experience.