Former England manager Fabio Capello and Neymar Santos Senior, father of Brazilian footballer Neymar, arrived in Edinburgh last night ahead of a football conference attended by some of the most influential figures in the game.
Capello will offer insight into the ever-changing landscape of the football manager’s role later today. Neymar Snr will discuss the transfer “that shook the world” – his son’s record-breaking £200 million switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain two summers ago. The latter event will be chaired by Marcos Motta, Neymar’s lawyer and the person who physically handed over the cheque to the Spanish club triggering the player’s release.
Of course, Neymar has cut an increasingly unhappy figure in recent months at PSG and prior to Monday’s transfer deadline was frustrated in an attempt to engineer a move back to Barcelona, the circumstances of which his father is bound to be drawn on in the unlikely setting of Edinburgh’s Signet Library, home to the Society of Writers to her Majesty’s Signet – an association of Scottish lawyers.
Hearts owner Ann Budge will welcome delegates to the event this morning and will offer a brief insight into the challenges of running a Scottish football club. Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster are due to take part in a debate addressing the impact of domestic and international fair play and club licensing rules on transfers. Wouter Lambrecht, Barcelona’s lawyer, will also contribute to this discussion.
Meanwhile, Jacques Blondin, Fifa’s Head of TMS (Transfer Matching System) is set to reveal the total amount spent on international transfers in the most recent transfer window tomorrow afternoon.
There will also be a panel discussion looking at the future of the loan system, with Fifa set to impose restrictions such as the number of players clubs are allowed to have out on loan at any one time.
The Edinburgh Sports Conference, organised by Edinburgh-based law firm Lombardi Associates, was first held in the city two years ago.