By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Ghanaian football consultant Kurt Okraku believes clubs should seek the maximum number of years when signing players to minimize the effect of the Bosman ruling.
The landmark ruling has been brought into sharp focus following the unceremonious â€˜departureâ€™ of Yahaya Mohammed from Asante Kotoko.
The 25-year-old has entered into a pre-contract agreement with Libyan club Ittihad Tripoli without the consent of the Ghanaian giants.
Mohammedâ€™s move, though morally not sound, is accepted in legal terms due to the Bosman ruling which allows players to move to another club of their choice for free at the end of their existing contract.
The players are empowered under the ruling to open negotiations with other parties with less than six months to the end of their running contracts.
It is under this ambit that Kofi Nti Boakye left Kotoko for free last season and now Yahaya Mohammed.
Football consultant Kurt Okraku is advicing Ghanaian clubs to go for the maximum duration when signing players in order to help avert the worrying trend.
â€œThe Bosman ruling though good has itâ€™s bad sides and this has to do with player power especially for the big players when their contracts are running out,â€
â€œThe practice in Ghana has been to sign a young player for say two years because of the uncertainty over the quality of the said player.
â€œBecause clubs â€“ due to scarce resources â€“ are reluctant to make long-term investment commitment in the development of a young player, they rather go for the short-term contracts.
â€œNow if the player is one of the good ones and shoots up in the limelight and you are not lucky enough to have his existing deal running out, then he is likely to take the Bosman route.
â€œSo the practice in Europe now is that the clubs go for the maximum contract duration of five plus two years so that by the time the player leaves the side, they would have benefited from the players contribution and onward sale if that is the case.
â€œManchester United for instance are making huge financial commitments to retain Wayne Rooney.
â€œThat is one of the examples because they will want to at least protect themselves when other teams come calling following their poor performance this season.â€