Yanagida contractually bound to Bühl
For the 2018/19 season, the Volleyball Bisons Bühl again reckon with Masahiro Yanagida. According to managing director Manohar Faupel, "We are very happy that we contracted one of the most successful attackers in the league for two seasons. Now, the European clubs are after him." There is no doubt however that the Japanese player is firmly bound to Bühl. For Yanagida and his management, only the contracted transfer clause could open the way to a different European league but due the uninteresting offers, the Bisons do not see any reason to make use of this clause. Rather, they plan for the Japanese role model to be a firm part of their team roster.
News about Masahiro Yanagida: "We have a valid two year contract with Yanagida. There is no cancellation or indication of a club change. We plan for Yanagida to be coming back to the team in October at the latest." says managing director Manohar Faupel.
Faupel also goes on to reject rumours of a possible change accredited to a previously uninvolved player’s agent. "In the end, this only damages Yanagida’s image and his sports career."
In particular, the threat of forcing Yanagida out of the existing contract in Bühl has created some ill feeling in Japans exceptional player. "Take half of the contracted transfer amount, I will get the player anyway via my FIVB connections, although he committed for Bühl." This comment was expressed by the player’s agent and it could be answered by the club management in only one way: "He can keep his money, because Masa will play in Bühl." None of these comments or methods help the player, and the relationship between the club and the Japanese management has been excellent until now. For the club, the Japanese mentality is a guarantor of this business relationship: a signed contract is a social obligation in Japan and a question of honour at the same time. Breaking a given word would therefore be tantamount to a huge loss of face. "Of course we do not know, whether the Japanese management is always properly informed by the player’s agent." Faupel questions the strategy of the agent.
Rumors that Masahiro Yanagida have already signed in Poland, however, cannot be confirmed by the Baden club. "There are reputable player’s agents and others who bring players into dangerous situations. It would be a clear breach of the law by Yanagida if he had signed with another club, because the first valid contract is with Bühl. "Faupel clarified that the FIVB transfer manager was immediately informed of this issue and that the FIVB have prepared the way for a lawsuit before the sports court. In addition, the Bisons have turned to VBL president Michael Evers, who is using his direct contacts to the Polish association.
For Yanagida and the Japanese Volleyball Federation this is a very awkward situation: "I have learned a lot in Bühl and I am very grateful towards the whole team. I absolutely understand the position of Bühl and I want a professional solution." Yanagida is quoted as saying. Despite his explosive momentum on the field, the Japanese star remains diplomatic off the court. "The Japanese federation wants me to develop in a strong European league. I have to play, but there should be no damage for Bühl".
Faupel would like to see this fair play mind set also from the player’s agent, but about "Hunter Masa" he can only say positively: "Last season, the adventure of Masahiro Yanagida in Bühl was a unique success story, also for the Bundesliga. He did a really great job here and we would like to continue with him this particular saga in the best and friendliest way possible."