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Great relief in Denmark. The Danish professional footballers association (Spillerforeningen) and the Danish professional football league (Divisionsforeningen) have finally reached a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The threat of a lock-out was averted at the eleventh hour.

At Friday 3.30 AM, both parties congratulated each other with the deal they had discussed about and fought for so long. In late March 2014, the League had chosen to terminate the existing collective bargaining agreement. Since, both parties were involved in tough negotiations. A labour dispute would have started on August 19th in case both parties had not reached an agreement before this Friday.

The last negotiations between Spillerforeningen and Divisionsforeningen proved to be successful. The players union was supported by twenty professional footballers from various clubs who attended the final meeting as well as the previous negotiations.

Spillerforeningen welcomed the result, as it showed several significant improvements for the players. The most important issues for the players are:

  • Higher pensions
  • Higher minimum wages for all professional footballers
  • Special education funding
  • Sports savings for all players over 20 years

Patrick Kristensen, AaB player and member of the negotiating committee, said he was "very pleased". "This new agreement comes to the benefit of all players. Also the players from the lower leagues will notice the improvements. There will now be higher pensions, higher minimum wages and specially reserved funds for education and for our education project 4player."

Kristensen complimented the unity and solidarity among the professional footballers. "We have negotiated as one party. It was of great help to us that (former) national team players such as Mathias "Zanka" Jörgensen (FC Kopenhagen), Thomas Kahlenberg (Brøndby IF) and many others were involved in the negotiations on our side of the table. It meant a lot that even in the late night hours we were present with twenty players."

The commitment and support of the Danish players is illustrated most clearly by the fact that during the current transfer window more than 100 players have signed in as a new member. Spillerforeningen's membership rate is about 95% in Superliga clubs.

During the negotiation process Spillerforeningen had stood firm to prevent that the players rights and conditions would be seriously deteriorated by the League's wishes in comparison with the old CBA. The players union fought for a CBA which builds on the previous one, explained Director Mads Øland (top photo): "The CBA we proposed contains a fair upwards regulation of minimum salaries, insurance rates and pension rates. It also contains sections regarding the mutual responsibility of securing adequate education and job opportunities for players."

 

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Some of the players and directors who were part of the Spillerforeningen negotiating team

 

Also read: Danish footballers face lockout threat
  Danish players positive on reaching a new CBA