Meeting yesterday, September 24 in London, the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee gave its backing to a groundbreaking reform package of the transfer system. Representatives from clubs (ECA), leagues (the World Leagues Forum), players (FIFPro) as well as member associations, confederations and the FIFA administration validated a set of recommendations to increase the transparency of the system, protect its integrity and reinforce solidarity mechanisms for training clubs. The proposals will now be submitted to the FIFA Council for approval.
“We have brought everyone to the table and all key actors of the industry have understood that we need to take action, leading today to this reform proposal. This is a significant first step towards achieving greater transparency, the effective enforcement of rules that will deliver millions in solidarity payments to clubs, and developing a consensus on how to tackle the issue of agents, loans and other key aspects of the transfer system,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The key points of the principles endorsed yesterday by the Football Stakeholders Committee are the following:
- Creation of a “clearing house” to process transfers with the aim of protecting the integrity of football and avoiding fraudulent conduct. 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.
- 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.
- 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. The development of these proposals also followed a lengthy consultation process with a representative group of agents.
- 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.
- Solidarity contributions to apply to domestic transfers with an “international dimension”.
“I am very pleased by the spirit of cooperation that we have seen so far in this process. Everyone has contributed in a productive way to the discussions, understanding that this is a crucial matter for the good of football. It has allowed us to reach a broad consensus around a set of reform proposals,” said the chairman of the Football Stakeholders Committee, Vittorio Montagliani.
The principles of the detailed reform package will be submitted to the FIFA Council at its next meeting on October 26. If approved, this policy document will then be the basis for continued negotiations to ultimately turn the relevant principles into concrete regulations to be drafted in collaboration with the football stakeholders.
In addition, the Task Force Transfer System established by the Football Stakeholders Committee will continue to discuss a series of broader measures for the improvement of the transfer system, including potential changes to the training compensation system.