Today’s decisions by the European Court of Justice present an important moment to strengthen the role of player rights in sport and reaffirm the solidarity-based European football pyramid.
Professional footballers share a joint responsibility for collective governance structures specifically with regards to decisions that affect the employment market, and thus their working conditions, job opportunities and welfare. FIFPRO Europe therefore welcomes the position of the court with regards to the rule of law and fundamental player and worker rights such as for example the freedom of movement of workers, undue sanctions on workers, and their right to seek job opportunities. This is a reform process that has already started and that we will continue to advance together with UEFA and other stakeholders.
In line with the players who were in firm opposition to the initial principles of a European Super League project FIFPRO Europe remains convinced that open competitions and sporting merit are not only the cornerstone of the football pyramid at domestic and European levels but also fundamental to ensure a vibrant employment market with career paths and job opportunities for all players.
Together with players and national player unions FIFPRO Europe looks forward to furthering its role as a bargaining partner for employment related matters in the collective governance of the professional football industry and in a pyramid model under UEFA and alongside leagues, clubs, fans, European Union institutions, governments, and other partners.
Together we will continue collaborative discussions to bolster the development of football at all levels, with a focus on safeguarding and enhancing robust labour standards for every player across Europe.
“Our main objective is to improve the well-being and working conditions of players at all levels,” FIFPRO Europe President David Terrier said. “We strongly support the protection of employment markets, domestic leagues, sporting merit and a pyramid model; we reject any plans to unilaterally undermine the social and cultural fabric of European football and threaten employment opportunities for players – such as the proposal for a European Super League. More than ever, collective decisions must prioritise player protection, fair participation and secure employment – not erode them. We will continue this path with UEFA and the social partners."