Porto are the Alan Sugar of the footballing world - they buy cheap and they sell big.
Danilo is the latest export from the Dragoes, his €31.5 million transfer to Real Madrid embodies Porto's model of moulding talent into world-class players. The problem for the Portuguese side, and many other clubs of a similar ilk, is that their conveyor belt of talent could be coming to an end.
Why? Well, that man, Sepp Blatter, is at the midst of the controversy once again.
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FIFA have taken a disliking to the Third-Party ownership rule, a rule which has benefited Porto immensely over the past ten years or so. If you're unsure of how the rule works, here's a quick summary:
- Porto sign a player, typically from South America
- They share the transfer fee with 'investors'
- They split the profits when the player is sold
- The deal is usually in Porto's favour
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James Rodriguez is an example of the success of Porto's strategy: he was bought from Banfield for €5.1m with the help of an agent and sold to Monaco for €45m. It's easy to see how they made so much money.
So what does the potential ban mean for Porto?
With FIFA looking to ban the rights of Third-Party ownership, deals like the James one could be a thing of the past. Despite the massive profits they make on sales, Porto aren't one of Europe's 'super rich' clubs; the prospect of having to solely finance their transfers could put a stop to them altogether.
The possibility of a ban is already seemingly already affecting them. In previous campaigns they would replace the outgoing stars with young, exciting talent: this season they have replaced Danilo with 31-year-old Maxi Pereira. The Uruguayan is a very solid player, but is he going to earn you €30 million? No. It's a sad, but realistic prospect that his transfer could signal the beginning of the end.
So where can Porto go from here?
In Alex Sandro and Yacine Brahimi, they still possess some coveted players - the inevitable sales of those two will finance the next golden generation. The impetus on finding even rarer, cheaper gems will place even more pressure on their remarkable scouting network - becoming a scout at Porto would not be an enviable task.
As well as in the boardroom, things aren't getting any easier on the pitch for Porto either: they will no longer be among the first seeds in this Champions League - failing to get out the group stages would be disastrous for them.
They haven't reached the semi-finals of the Champions League since the year they won it in 2004, the way things are going, it may be a while before we see them back among Europe's elite.
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