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每日跟讀#652: Seeking Soccer Talent, Club Executives Turn to Speed Dating

球員交易平台 足球隊用快速約會尋才

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#652: Seeking Soccer Talent, Club Executives Turn to Speed Dating

It had all the hallmarks of an afternoon of speed dating. Strangers hoping to find that right match.

這個下午具備了快速約會的所有特色,一些陌生人期待找到那個對的人。

On a gloriously warm Tuesday earlier this month, a group of soccer executives, from clubs large and small from across Europe and even as far afield as Brazil and the United States, were getting to know each other at 15-minute intervals inside a banquet hall at Stamford Bridge, the West London home of Premier League giant Chelsea.

本月一個陽光普照且溫暖的周二,一群足球隊的高級主管聚集於此,他們來自歐洲各地、甚至遠在巴西和美國的球會。在英格蘭足球超級聯賽強隊切爾西位於倫敦西區的主場,史丹佛橋球場的宴會廳內,他們以每次15分鐘的時間彼此接觸了解。

Outside, tourists visiting the stadium frolicked in the sunshine of the stands. Inside the cloistered, carpeted Centenary Lounge, executives were getting down to the serious business of negotiating player trades as the summer transfer window, an annual multibillion-dollar marketplace, reaches its climactic rush to fill rosters or find new or temporary homes for unwanted or untested talent before the window slams shut in a matter of weeks.

在外頭,造訪球場的遊客在陽光下的看台上嬉戲。而在迴廊深處、鋪著地毯的「百年廳」內,這些高管們正處理著在夏季轉隊期內洽談球員交易的正事。這個一年一度、金額達數十億美元的交易期,幾周後就會結束,而目前正處於活動的高峰,不論是補足球員缺額,或是為釋出或無經驗的球員找到新隊或暫時棲身之處。

With tables numbered and organized in rows, executives wielding brochures and tablets showed off their inventory in short introductory meetings that ended with the sound of a bell and the appearance of two women armed with boxing-style cards announcing the start of the next round of talks.

一排排桌子張張編有號碼,高階主管緊握著宣傳冊和平板電腦,在短暫的介紹會面中展示他們有些什麼料。鈴聲響起後會面結束,兩名女性出現,高舉拳擊場風格的看板,宣布下一輪談話開始。

The event, a novelty in the often opaque and secretive world of soccer player trading, is the brainchild of Jonas Ankersen, 33, of Denmark, who launched a player trading platform called Transfer Room two years ago.

這項活動,在通常不透明且秘密的足球員交易世界堪稱新奇,是33歲丹麥人約拿斯.安克森所發明,兩年前他創辦名叫「轉移室」的球員交易平台。

The idea was to wean clubs off the largely inefficient and long-held practice of sourcing and selling players via the closely guarded networks of agents or intermediaries, some who can take a multimillion-dollar cut in the biggest deals.

球界長久以來透過受到高度保護的經紀人或中間人網絡尋找和釋出球員,大抵而言效率欠佳,有些最大的交易,中間人甚至可以分得數百萬美元。新構想是要讓球會脫離這樣的網絡。

“I wanted to give the clubs a chance to take back control of the transfer market,” Ankersen said as snippets of negotiations started to fill the air following a break for lunch.

「我想要給這些球會一個機會,拿回交易市場的控制權。」午餐休息過後,談判四處登場之際,安克森這麼說。

To be sure, this is not the place where Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi will move from one club to another, but rather where useful, reasonably priced players change teams. The most expensive player on Ankersen’s platform is valued at around 20 million pounds, (roughly $25 million), he said.

當然,這裡不會是C羅或梅西轉隊的場所,而是有能力、身價合理的球員轉隊之處。安克森說,在他的平台上,最貴的球員身價約2000萬英鎊(約2500萬美元)。

“That’s just a little bit out of our price range,” said Mick Harford, the director of football at Luton Town, a team from just outside London that was promoted last season to the second tier Championship division. Harford spoke as he pored over a list of young players being made available for loan by Paul Konchesky, loan manager at the middling Premier League club West Ham.

「那真的有點超出我們的價格範圍。」位於倫敦郊外的魯頓足球球會主管米克.哈佛說。此隊在上一季被升到第二級別的英格蘭足球冠軍聯賽。哈佛一邊說著,一邊仔細閱讀一分可租借年輕球員的名單,這分名單是英超的中級球隊西漢姆球會租借部門經理保羅.孔切斯基所提供。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/343041/web/

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