By Dan Chapman
FIFA have today confirmed that their Stakeholders Committee has approved a “groundbreaking reform package of the transfer system”. Designed to increase the transparency of the system, protect its integrity and reinforce solidarity mechanisms for training clubs, the “landmark” reforms will be submitted to the FIFA Council for formal approval of 26 October 2018.
Details of what these measures that Gianni Infantino (President of FIFA) has heralded this afternoon remain sketchy, at best. What we do know, however, from FIFA’s media release is that the following “principles” were endorsed:
(1) Creation of a “clearing house” to process transfers. This will ensure the good functioning of the system by centralising and simplifying the payments associated with transfers such as solidarity, training compensation, agents’ commissions and, potentially, transfer fees.
(2) Mandatory introduction of an electronic transfer system at national level following the model in place for international transfers as well as of a domestic electronic registration system.
(3) New and stronger regulations for agents to be established with agreement on the principle of introducing compensation and representation restrictions, payment of agents’ commissions through the clearing house and licensing and registration of agents through the Transfer Matching System.
(4) Development of the regulation of loans of players for the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation. The number of loans per season and between each club shall be limited and bridge transfers and sub-loans shall be prohibited.
(5) Solidarity contributions to apply to domestic transfers with an “international dimension.
Whilst some of the above does not look likely to be controversial (in the UK at least, a clearing house system has been in use for some time) there is no doubt that clubs will be keen to understand what the new loan rules may be and agents will be extremely anxious to learn what “new and stronger” regulations will mean. Crucially, there is no indication at this stage as to the likely timescale of the introduction of any new regulations.
So watch this space….
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The spearhead and Senior Partner of Full Contact, Dan is an experienced solicitor and advocate, with a specialist background in employment law and sports.
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