Editor’s note: Rhys Lenarduzzi is a final semester Bachelor of Law (LL.B) and Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) student, at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia. As a former professional athlete, then international sports agent and consultant, Rhys is interested in international sports law, policy and ethics. He is currently undertaking an internship at the T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on Transnational Sports Law.
Having considered the history and justifications
for the FIFA training compensation and solidarity mechanisms in my previous blog, I will now consider these systems in the African
context. This appears to be a worthwhile undertaking given these global mechanisms
were largely a result of European influence, so understanding their
(extraterritorial) impact beyond the EU seems particularly important. Moreover,
much has been written about the “muscle drain” affecting African football and
the need for such drain to either be brought to a halt, or, more likely and
perhaps more practical, to put in place an adequate system of redistribution to
ensure the flourishing of African football that has essentially acted as a
nursery for European football for at least a century. In the present blog, I
intend to draw on my experiences as a football agent to expand on how FIFA’s
redistributive mechanisms function in practice when an African player signs in
Europe via one of the many kinds of entities that develop or purport to develop
talent in Africa. I will throughout address the question of whether these
mechanisms are effective in a general sense and more specifically in relation
to their operation in Africa.More...
Editor’s note: Rhys Lenarduzzi is a final semester Bachelor
of Law (LL.B) and Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) student, at the University
of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia. As a former professional athlete, then
international sports agent and consultant, Rhys is interested in international
sports law, policy and ethics. He is currently undertaking an internship at the
T.M.C. Asser Institute with a focus on Transnational Sports Law.
In 2019, training
compensation and solidarity contributions based on FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer
of Players (RSTP) amounted to US$ 75,5 million. This transfer of
wealth from the clubs in the core of the football hierarchy to the clubs where the
professional players originated is a peculiar arrangement unknown in other
global industries. Beyond briefly pointing out or reminding the reader of how these
systems work and the history behind them, this blog series aims to revisit the
justifications for FIFA-imposed training compensation and the solidarity
mechanism, assess their efficacy and effects through a case study of their
operation in the African context, and finally analyse the potential impact of upcoming
reforms of the FIFA RSTP in this context.
it is important to go back to the roots of this, arguably, strange practice. The current transfer system and the legal mechanisms constituting
it were largely the result of a complex negotiation between European football’s
main stakeholders and the European Commission dating back to 2001. The conclusion
of these negotiations led to a new regulatory system enshrined in Article 20 and
Annex 4 of the RSTP in the case of training compensation, and at Article 21 and
Annex 5 in the case of the solidarity mechanism. Before paying some attention
to the historical influences and how we arrived at these changes, as well as the
justifications from the relevant bodies for their existence, let us briefly recall
what training compensation and the solidarity mechanisms actually are. More...
Editor’s note: Josep
F. Vandellos is an international sports lawyer associated to RH&C (Spain).
He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the publication Football
Legal and a guest lecturer in the ISDE-FC Barcelona
Masters’ Degree in Sports Management and Legal Skills.
6 of Annexe IV (Training compensation) of the
FIFA-RSTP (Ed. 2016) contains the so-called “Special Provisions for the EU/EEA” applicable to players moving
from one association to another inside the territory of the European Union (EU)
or the European Economic Area (EEA).
The provisions regarding training compensation result from the
understanding reached between FIFA and UEFA with the European Union in March
and subsequent modifications introduced in the FIFA-RSTP revised version of
2005 to ensure the compatibility of the transfer system with EU law.
blog will focus on the exception contained in article 6(3) Annexe IV of the
FIFA-RSTP. According to this article, when “the
former club” fails to offer a contract to the player, it loses its right to
claim training compensation from the players’ new club, unless it can justify that
it is entitled to such compensation. Instead, the right of “previous clubs” to training compensation
is fully preserved irrespective of their behaviour with the player. From
a legal standpoint, such discrimination between the “former club” and the “previous
clubs” raises some questions that I will try to address in this paper. More...
On 21 January 2015, the Court of
arbitration for sport (CAS) rendered its award in the latest avatar of the Mutu case, aka THE sports law case that
keeps on giving (this decision might still be appealed to the Swiss Federal
tribunal and a complaint by Mutu is still pending in front of the European
Court of Human Right). The decision was finally published on the CAS website on
Tuesday. Basically, the core question focuses on the interpretation of Article
14. 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and
Transfer of Players in its 2001 version. More precisely, whether, in case of a dismissal of a player
(Mutu) due to a breach of the contract without just cause by the
player, the new club (Juventus and/or Livorno) bears the duty to pay the
compensation due by the player to his former club (Chelsea). Despite winning maybe
the most high profile case in the history of the CAS, Chelsea has been desperately
hunting for its money since the rendering of the award (as far as the US), but
it is a daunting task. Thus, the English football club had the idea to turn
against Mutu’s first employers after his dismissal in 2005, Juventus and
Livorno, with success in front of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC),
but as we will see the CAS decided otherwise. More...
to the legitimate excitement over the recent Pechstein
ruling, many have overlooked a previous German decision
rendered in the Wilhelmshaven SV case
(the German press did report on the decision here
The few academic commentaries (see here
focused on the fact that the German Court had not recognized the res judicata effect of a CAS award.
Thus, it placed Germany at the spearhead of a mounting rebellion against the legitimacy
of the CAS and the validity of its awards. None of the commentators weighed in
on the substance of the decision, however. Contrary to the Court in Pechstein, the judges decided to evaluate
the compatibility of the FIFA rules on training compensations with the EU free
movement rights. To properly report on the decision and assess the threat it
may constitute for the FIFA training compensation system, we will first
summarize the facts of the case (I), briefly explicate the mode of functioning
of the FIFA training compensation system (II), and finally reconstruct the
reasoning of the Court on the compatibility of the FIFA rules with EU law