Fifpro vs FIFA

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Post by Jay29 Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:16 am

Seems like a big deal:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/18/fifpro-transfer-fees-could-go-fifa-brussels?CMP=share_btn_tw

The union that represents footballers around the world will on Friday launch a landmark legal action against Fifa in the hope of outlawing the transfer system and fundamentally changing the professional game.

Having run out of patience with Fifa and Uefa following long-running negotiations over reforms to the transfer system to protect players better, Fifpro’s lawyers will electronically file a complaint in Brussels with the European Commission.

Fifpro wants to abolish transfer fees and make it easier for players to move between clubs while respecting contracts. It believes its members have less freedom of movement than other workers when a club is able to demand a fee for a footballer under contract. Its lawyers also plan to argue that the existing system is anti-competitive because it places disproportionate power in the hands of elite clubs who can afford to pay large transfer fees.

Other Fifpro objectives include an end to the loan system, restrictions on squad sizes and the capping of payments to agents.

Putting aside the likelihood of it happening, do you think football would be better if transfers fees were abolished? Would it really re-address the balance of the game?

I don't see how the richer clubs would become any less powerful in this scenario. Surely their ability to pay huge wages and bonuses would only increase without the need to spend on transfer fees.

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Post by farfan Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:37 am

agents wont allow this .
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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:28 am

I wonder if this would rather lead to the smaller clubs asking some tuition fee of the parents of the kids they are going to train if they won't get any money anymore if the young players can simply leave them for a bigger club. That could make it even harder to become a professional player, at least for people who don't have the money.
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Post by zizzle Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:43 am

We'll stop talking about transfer fees and start talking about astronomical signing in bonuses and salaries. The smaller clubs would be even more screwed, they cant match the wages/bonuses, and they cant sell players to balance the books.
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Post by Kaladin Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:47 am

zizzle wrote:We'll stop talking about transfer fees and start talking about astronomical signing in bonuses and salaries. The smaller clubs would be even more screwed, they cant match the wages/bonuses, and they cant sell players to balance the books.


It's easier to coerce players than it is to coerce clubs though
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Post by zizzle Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:06 am

El Shaarawy wrote:
zizzle wrote:We'll stop talking about transfer fees and start talking about astronomical signing in bonuses and salaries. The smaller clubs would be even more screwed, they cant match the wages/bonuses, and they cant sell players to balance the books.


It's easier to coerce players than it is to coerce clubs though


Still elite clubs have more money than they know what to do with. Neymar's 40m signing bonus will be the trend, not the exception.
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Post by farfan Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:08 am

but the smaller clubs will hold on to the player even if richer clubs offer ridiculous $ to the player .
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Post by zizzle Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:12 am

The smaller club will hold into a player for longer but sooner or later his contract will expire. Once that happens the player will leave and his smaller club will not get anything in return
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Post by Kick Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:16 am

Getting rid of transfer fees without including salary caps won't change anything, as previously stated.

It is pointless, and I think we're very much in a snowball effect, transfer fees will just get bigger and bigger and very little can be done to stop it.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:35 am

While I like the ideas it will never happen as it threatens the status quo and bring back competition but clubs don't want that.

Something does need to be done though, i have already spoken about in great length about money has distorted the competition and spread the best players among a select group of teams.

But I fear it's too far along now.
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Post by farfan Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:40 am

there's also the option of digging the hole deeper Laughing meaning they'll be so much money in football that almost every team in the major leagues will have a sugar daddy .

this gradually happening in the PL.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:48 am

Yeah but money has distorted the competition in the PL as well not made it more balanced.

The top clubs are further away than they ever have been, this is the case across Europe to be frank. Completely agree with them that the system as it is currently is Anti-competitive.

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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:10 am

Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:While I like the ideas it will never happen as it threatens the status quo and bring back competition but clubs don't want that.
I doubt that the European Commission or whichever court they drag this before will bother about any status quo of the football world. They will put out a legislation as they deem fit, and for some reason I have the feeling this might not be fully thought through by the FIFpro guys either, and the results of that ruling could very well backfire greatly. (And if not for the current generation of players, then likely for those who come after them as it is questionable if the smaller clubs will put as much effort into the education of new kids if they won't have any gain from it.)
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:44 am

I think it's a great idea. The current system is kinda nonsensical. Clubs pay other clubs the right to sign one of their players, but the club being paid will use that money to pay another team to break a contract. Unless you're a club like Porto (one of the exceptions) this is usually a zero sum game. Players earn far less than they could've and the one party that ends up benefiting from this is the agent that gets a cut from the transfer fee.
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Post by Art Morte Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:29 am

BarrileteCosmico wrote:I think it's a great idea. The current system is kinda nonsensical. Clubs pay other clubs the right to sign one of their players, but the club being paid will use that money to pay another team to break a contract. Unless you're a club like Porto (one of the exceptions) this is usually a zero sum game. Players earn far less than they could've and the one party that ends up benefiting from this is the agent that gets a cut from the transfer fee.


It could be a good idea with a salary cap, like Kick said. Without it the transfer fees would just go to the players' salaries - which Fifpro would obviously like, they're the players' union. It wouldn't make anything better without a salary cap.

I also didn't spot in the article what Fifpro meant by saying that "players could move more freely between clubs while still respecting their contracts." That sounds contradicting. With transfer fees, clubs have a reason to let a player go during his contract. If there were no transfer fees, clubs' only reason to let a player go would be if they didn't fancy him anyway and rather saved his wages on someone else. I think this could cause great dissatisfaction among players. Imagine you're a great 18-year-old talent breaking through in the 3rd division with 4 years left on your contract on 2,000 a week. Suddenly you have clubs from the first division coming to you, saying "we'll pay you 20,000 a week if you just get out of your current contract". But how would he get out of it if there were no transfer fees? Why would his division three club let him go? I mean, Fifpro better not be planning some scheme where players can just one-sidedly terminate their contracts for nothing.

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Post by Jay29 Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:58 am

The article mentions two things on that front: shorter contracts and making it easier for players to buy out their contracts so they can move. If the contracts are shorter, it should, in theory, make it easier to buyout. Moreover, if players know they can't move whenever, then that might encourage to sign shorter contracts anyway.

I think the key problem here, as pointed out, is that the removal of transfer fees wouldn't balance out the competition at all, simply because the wealth is already concentrated amongst a select few clubs. This wouldn't stop Barca, Madrid, Bayern, etc. from signing all the best talent. Rather than an inflation in transfer fees, we'd see an inflation in wages and bonuses. There would have to be a limit imposed somewhere to prevent that from spiraling out of control.

Also, I disagree with Fifpro's point about smaller clubs becoming less reliant on selling players to stay in business. That doesn't acknowledge the financial reality for some clubs, who don't generate as much income for reasons other than a mishandling of their own finances. Being able to save on transfer fees means nothing to them since they wouldn't have spent anything on fees anyway.

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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:42 am

Exactly. Most clubs in lower division don't get any TV fees, and their gate receipt money often can't really sustain them either - not to mention that sponsors usually aren't interested in clubs that don't have any reach. Such clubs often rely on selling players they trained and educated themselves to generate transfer fees (and if it's "only" 25 000 or 50 000 Euros) to survive.

If this source of income is cut, the clubs will either fold, or they would have to ask for some substantial tuition fee to finance their youth coaches etc. As they wouldn't have to *pay* any transfer fees as they usually get players for free that they "make" themselves, this actually ruins the lower divisions as they don't gain anything, but only lose their investments (they put time and money into the education) for free.

That way academies would be concentrated with the rich clubs as they are the only ones that will still be able to afford them, but the incentive to actually educate players will be smaller and smaller as it doesn't yield any money, and you are always in danger of losing the players you educated for free.
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Post by Art Morte Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:56 am

GoonerJay29 wrote:The article mentions two things on that front: shorter contracts and making it easier for players to buy out their contracts so they can move. If the contracts are shorter, it should, in theory, make it easier to buyout. Moreover, if players know they can't move whenever, then that might encourage to sign shorter contracts anyway.


Yeah, exactly. It would lead to shorter contracts, because once a player signs a contract, if there's no transfer fees, they would have no way out of the contract. This could be detrimental to the sport, players moving around all the time as they compete their wages, staying only a year or two at the same club. Sure, great for the players, much more power to them, but Fifpro isn't thinking the overall good of the sport at all there.


GoonerJay29 wrote:Also, I disagree with Fifpro's point about smaller clubs becoming less reliant on selling players to stay in business. That doesn't acknowledge the financial reality for some clubs, who don't generate as much income for reasons other than a mishandling of their own finances. Being able to save on transfer fees means nothing to them since they wouldn't have spent anything on fees anyway.


And that's true, too. When you look at the Football League (divs 2-4) in England, for example, I think the majority of the deals are already free transfers. And it's the clubs' own decision if they decide to play it risky and rely on getting x amount of cash for outgoing transfers per year. Getting rid of transfer fees would only limit the options of small clubs.


Fifpro is basically trying to put all the power in the players' hands and I think that's wrong and doesn't serve the overall good of the sport.
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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:02 am

Art Morte wrote:And it's the clubs' own decision if they decide to play it risky and rely on getting x amount of cash for outgoing transfers per year.
Why is it "playing risky"? It is often the only source of income to small clubs that don't get TV money and have only a handful of spectators.

To abolish that would probably ruin a lot of small clubs and far less players would be properly educated as good youth academies with licenced coaches cost quite some money.

And if you only have a handful of youth academies at wealthy clubs, this means actually less top players as more kids fall through the roster (e.g. Marco Reus originally was considered not good enough at the Dortmund academy and had to go to a smaller club where he got the time to develop. If that possibility is gone, such players might give up completely and you lose a lot of talent that doesn't fit with the big clubs right away.)
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Post by El Gunner Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:18 am

Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:While I like the ideas it will never happen as it threatens the status quo and bring back competition but clubs don't want that.

Something does need to be done though, i have already spoken about in great length about money has distorted the competition and spread the best players among a select group of teams.

But I fear it's too far along now.

Where there's a will etc
I am a believer in Fif Dent Molenation
Just anything to change this big influence money has on the game at the moment.
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Post by Art Morte Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:25 am

rwo power wrote:
Art Morte wrote:And it's the clubs' own decision if they decide to play it risky and rely on getting x amount of cash for outgoing transfers per year.
Why is it "playing risky"? It is often the only source of income to small clubs that don't get TV money and have only a handful of spectators.
There's no guarantee you're every year going to have a player or players that are going to bring in your budgeted amount of cash.
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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:31 am

Normally it works nicely it you set up a good academy. And in the lower division level we don't talk about world class players, but about good players that are interesting for clubs slightly above them in the food chain.

I'm not talking about transfer fees in the millions, but more about 25 000 Euros or 50 000 Euros or 100 000 Euros etc. Football does start in the lower divisions after all.
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Post by Art Morte Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:54 am

"Normally it works nicely" is still no guarantee. But I agree that this would be damaging to all clubs that are not the very richest ones. There would be no incentive to scout, train and develop talented young players, because the moment they attract interest from someone richer, there would be no reward for the club for developing that player. Every club would only be hiring players who can do a job for them right then and there, no squad planning for the future would be needed.
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Post by rwo power Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:14 pm

No squad planning for the future would even be possible if the players can leave anytime at their whim.

I think this would be pretty much the end of poorer clubs that would want to build a squad from their youth up and have at least a transfer fee to compensate them if suddenly they have one or the other surprising top talent that catches the eye of a big club.
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Post by Art Morte Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:44 pm

I'm a little confused now, because the BBC's report on the matter doesn't suggest that transfer fees would be abolished:

The players' union wants four key changes made to the rules:

Any player not paid by their club for more than 30 days can terminate their contract providing they have given the club at least 10 days' written notice.

If a contract is terminated by the club without just cause or by the player for non-payment, the player should be compensated by having the contract paid out by the club.

Any player without a contract after the process above should be able to find work immediately, without having to wait for a transfer window to open.

These reforms should apply domestically and internationally.

...

As things stand, a player cannot cancel their contract until 90 days of non-payment have passed, and must then take their case to Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber. They will most likely win, but not until months later (due to the backlog caused by 4,000 such disputes a year), during which time their career will be in limbo.

If a player breaches their contract, on the other hand, they are banned from playing for 120 days and must compensate the club to the tune of their "market value".

Fifpro considers this, and transfer fees in general, to be a tax on employment, which if taken to its logical conclusion means the entire system is a restraint of trade that no other EU worker would tolerate.

The four points sound perfectly reasonable. The Guardian piece suggested this legal case is also about abolishing transfer fees. The BBC article mentions that Fifpro is against the fees, but doesn't make it sound like they're part of the legal case. I'm confused.
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