No fan ever likes seeing a player leave on a free, especially a good one.
Pre-1995 that would have never been allowed to happen, but as BT Sport highlighted in a stunning documentary last week, Jean-Marc Bosman changed all that.
Everyone’s heard of the Bosman ruling haven’t they, but some might not know what it means.
The first time I ever heard of the ruling was when I kept losing players at the end of the season on LMA Manager 2002 on Playstation 2!
As the documentary re-counted, Bosman signed for Standard Leige before a move to their big rivals fell through.
The club cut his wages by 70 per cent, forcing Bosman to sue both the Belgian FA and UEFA for restraint of trade.
And a long and drawn out legal battle ended with new laws coming into play. The birth of the Bosman ruling.
The ramifications of what Bosman did are still felt today.
But no one, like the documentary states, really knows who he is, or that the word Bosman is even related to a person.
The main changes from the court cases saw the lifting of the number of foreign players clubs were able to sign.
And it meant clubs couldn’t decide the futures of out of contract players. If there contract was up, they could go.
Some people still hate this today, but from my point of view a players career is short and they should be free to do what they want with it.
The ruling paved the way for big players to make big moves. Steve McManaman and Sol Campbell were the first two big names in English football to benefit from it.
A fascinating story on the BT documentary comes from Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert.
The modern fan might not know how good Lambert was, and the fact that without the Bosman ruling he would have never won the Champions League in 1997.
The impact Bosman had on football, and still has on the game is seismic.
Young players who benefit from his ruling every year have no clue, and don’t even understand they have a solitary former Belgian professional to thank.
Aside from your superstars, such as Messi and Ronaldo for example, I doubt there is anyone who has had a bigger impact on the modern game of football than Bosman.