FIFPRO Division Europe discussed its strategy for the upcoming years during its two-day general assembly in Budva, Montenegro. Approximately 70 representatives of 34 member unions participated in the meetings that took part between 24-25 May 2022.
One of the key topics on the agenda was an update about the development of FIFPRO’s Global Strategy Paper for 2022 through 2025. The European members discussed priorities for their region, and their opinions and decisions will be shared with the global FIFPRO board, which will finalise the Global Strategy Paper later this year.
“We had a good and serious exchange of views about a number of issues that, in our opinion, are paramount for FIFPRO’s global strategy,” said FIFPRO Europe President Bobby Barnes. “In general, I think the contributions of our European representatives will help guide the board with finalising its document.”
Besides the discussions about the global strategy, the members were also informed about among others legal matters, health and safety, anti-match-fixing activities (Red Button), UEFA’s new financial regulations and proposed changes to the international match calendar, women’s football, and protections for youth academy players.
The European representatives were welcomed by Dejan Savicevic, the former striker who won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade and the Champions League with AC Milan, and who is the current president of the Montenegrin football association.
“FIFPRO and the Montenegrin union of professional footballers have been important for raising awareness about the basic rights of professional footballers in our country, and that players are being educated about their rights,” Savicevic said when he addressed the assembly.
“The union has always been an important partner for us and they have made an immeasurable contribution to help increase the number of players who are employed by clubs, i.e. the professionalisation of football leagues in Montenegro.”
“I thank the SPFCG for their excellent cooperation.”
The Montenegrin Secretary of Sport Savo Rasovic also mentioned the “good cooperation” with the SPFCG and added that the union’s next goal should be working towards creating a collective agreement. “We have to guarantee the labour rights [of the players], as in any other area.”
FIFPRO Europe’s President Bobby Barnes and General Secretary Joachim Walltin paid special attention to Igor Gataullin, the President of the Ukrainian player union, whose country is suffering due to the invasion by Russia: “Our thoughts are with you, we will support you in every way we can, and we wish you peace,” said Barnes.
FIFPRO President David Aganzo and General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, who both were present, also showed their respect to Gataullin and his union. In return Gataullin said he was “grateful for the support of FIFPRO and the member unions, their warm feelings and their solidarity”.