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FIFPro’s Expert Group on Transfer Matters has made considerable progress in formulating recommendations for improvements to the current transfer system in professional football. ‘We are very positive because we have taken several important steps,’ said Expert Group spokesperson Philippe Piat. 


FIFPro’s Expert Group on Transfer Matters – which consists of representatives from all four FIFPro divisions and internationally renowned experts – met at length on Tuesday and Wednesday in the FIFPro House in Hoofddorp concerning the many serious problems which professional footballers suffer under the current transfer system. The experts focused primarily on the possibilities for solving these problems for the players.


The Expert Group discussed among other things the Third Party Ownership, the Stability and Respect of Contract (Article 17), the Squad Size Limits and the legal position of unemployed players.


The experts consider the non-payment of players the most pressing matter. It is an extremely stubborn problem and, in the opinion of the Expert Group, the football world does little to address this urgent matter. The members of the Expert Group welcomed the fact that FIFA has recently increased the capacity of its own arbitration committee (FIFA DRC). Nevertheless, the Expert Group observed that the speed with which the disputes are handled in still unacceptably low. Too many players must still wait an irresponsibly long time for what is rightfully theirs: their salary.


The Expert Group has drawn up several amendments to Article 17 of the FIFA Rules and Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) partly with the aim of guaranteeing the Respect of Contract. The FIFPro Legal Department has been given the assignment to edit the text based on these amendments.


At the next, closing meeting on 10 December, the Expert Group will frame its final recommendations. It will present these to the FIFPro Board on 12 December. The FIFPro Board will subsequently discuss the recommendations with FIFA, with the emphatic request to amend Article 17.


‘The Expert Group expects that in collaboration with FIFA it will be able to take decisive steps towards a better protection of the rights of the players,’ says Philippe Piat, in his position as spokesperson of the Expert Group.


The Expert Group expects that FIFPro in consultation with FIFA will bring about the desired amendments. Nevertheless, the Expert Group is studying which legal steps could be taken if the consultation with FIFA does not lead to the desired amendments.