Ludwigshafener SC get a cut of Chelsea’s fee
5 February ~ André Schürrle’s performances for Germany’s World Cup-winning team in the summer of 2014 have helped his home town of Ludwigshafen to share in the glory, as the local grandees decorated him with the prestigious Silver Lion award. This was a rare moment of positive publicity for a town best known for the BASF chemical works, concrete overpasses and a relatively large immigrant population. The young striker’s big-money move back to the Bundesliga in the winter break has also caused a minor sensation in local footballing circles.
FIFA’s Training Compensation and Solidarity Mechanism stipulates that clubs are to be rewarded for the time and effort expended in youth development for players that make the move to professional football. Now that VfL Wolfsburg have paid over €32 million (£24m) to buy Schürrle from Chelsea, his former club Ludwigshafener SC will enjoy a windfall that should provide financial security for years to come.
Over €1m of the total transfer fee will be deducted for the solidarity payments, of which Mainz, the club where Schürrle made his professional debut, will receive approximately €750,000. Over €300,000 will go to the club from the Ludwigshafen suburb of Gartenstadt that he joined aged five, and a large portion of this will be used to pay for long-overdue renovation of the clubhouse, in itself an important extra income stream.
Fans of Ludwigshafener SC remember Schürrle as a level-headed boy who many thought could go on to greater things, and he is often praised for not losing touch with his roots and for his willingness to return to his former club and help out with youth training on occasions. The money received from his transfer will also help towards running costs of the youth teams in 14 different age groups – and for a shrine to Schürrle in a corner of the new clubhouse, for which they hope the player himself will be able to donate shirts and other mementos from his career. John Van Laer