2.1.5 Transfer

The Transfer of Players

The current transfer system does not sufficiently protect players’ rights

It is a player’s right to freely seek opportunities to expand their sporting and earning potential, and they should be able to do so in a system that facilitates this right, rather than obstructing it. The transfer system has been active in football since the 19th century. It not only protects players in the process of joining and being released from clubs, but it also ensures a level of economic regulation within the football industry.

What you should know

This system does not grant footballers the same freedoms as other industry workers

The reasoning for denying these rights is allowed only by acknowledging a universal list of factors, including young player development, competitive balance, bespoke contractual agreements and preserving shared interests between club and player.

FIFPRO continues to develop and challenge the legitimacy of the modern-day transfer system

Reform is needed to address significant restrictions of players’ freedom of movement; the current arrangement has many limitations that fall short of a fair and just industry.

Governing bodies, such as FIFA and individual FAs, must work together to tackle these issues

In the meantime FIFPRO will continue to work towards developing a complete reform, providing practical solutions to individual cases in the shorter term.

2.1.5. Transfer
The Transfer of Players News

More players in the USA can become a free agent

Professional football players now have much more control over which club in America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) they want to join.

Jeff Larentowicz HH 2500 80
The Transfer of Players Case study

How Jean-Marc Bosman changed football's transfer system

Belgian professional footballer Jean-Marc Bosman wanted to sign a contract with a French club. However his Belgian club blocked his desired move, even though his contract with the club had expired. He began a legal battle which resulted in all professional footballers becoming free agents at the end of their contracts.

Jmbosman ANP 2500
The Transfer of Players Case study

How Olivier Bernard changed French transfer regulations

Young French player Olivier Bernard refused to sign a new contract with his club. Therefore French football regulations did not allow him to continue his career in France. He was also ordered to pay a heavy fine. Bernard refused, went to court and changed French transfer regulations.

Obernard ANP 2500