Who is Jean-Marc Bosman?
THE PLAYER; Mark Burton reports on a midfielder who went on the attack
It was disgust at his treatment by FC Liege five years ago that led him down the legal path, ending, possibly, with administrators, clubs and players facing a whole new ball game. Quite an achievement for a player who was not considered aggressive enough.
In 1990 Bosman, who had been bought by Liege for pounds 66,000 two years earlier but who had fallen out of favour at the Belgian club, thought he would move across the border into France at the end of his contract and play for Dunkirk.
Using Belgium's player-evaluation system Liege set a fee of about pounds 500,000 on him and insisted that the French team pay in full up front. When they refused, Liege pulled out of the deal, and cut Bosman's wages by 75 per cent to pounds 500 per month.
Desperate to get away and feeling he had effectively been blacklisted, Bosman went to law. A Belgian court ruled in his favour, too late for the Dunkirk deal to be resurrected, but his determination to win damages carried the case through to the European Court.
Bosman has played since, but only for lowly clubs. Last season he turned out for a Belgian Fourth Division side. He has yet to decide whether he will play this season, and sees his future being outside football, not surprising considering his view of club owners. "They are people without scruple," he said. "They have no respect for the rights of others and are basically incompetent."
Despite his BMW, Bosman's battle has left him bankrupt - although he is claiming compensation - broken up his marriage and left him far more famous off the pitch than for anything he ever achieved on it. No wonder yesterday he hardly smiled.
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.