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FIFPro looks back at a constructive meeting of the Professional Football Strategy Council at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, where all of football's stakeholders agreed on tackling serious issues such as third-party ownership, agent fees, integrity, the 2022 FIFA World Cup calendar and triple punishment.

A strong delegation of FIFPro Division Europe – representing the professional football players – discussed various matters with the representatives of the European football associations (UEFA), the clubs (European Club Association, ECA) and the leagues (European Professional Football Leagues, EPFL). The most important discussions concerned third-party ownership and agent fees.

Agent commissions on transfers

The Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) wants the percentage of agent commissions on transfers to be regulated.

Bobby Barnes, FIFPro Division Europe President: "We were all in agreement that, although the newly proposed FIFA intermediary regulations are a step forward from the initial draft of 2009, these regulations do still not address the issue that enormous amounts of money are disappearing from the game of football."

Barnes refers to the 2012 FIFA TMS report which said that 28% of the total transfer value was spent on agents fees. And last week, the ECA published its study which stated that 14.6 percent of the total transfer value was lost to club agents commission only.

"These are huge amounts that are leaving the game."

"We are not here to condemn the agents' role. There are agents who are doing a good job. But all parties are of the opinion that the agents take too much money. We are talking about more than a quarter of all transfer money. There is a lot of talk of players earning too much, but at least they are on the pitch each week and providing the entertainment for the fans."

Third-Party Ownership

FIFPro (and the other PFSC members) also supports UEFA's plan to ban the registration of players subject to third-party ownership arrangements from its competitions, if FIFA does not ban it on a worldwide scale.

FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players prohibit clubs from entering into a contract which enables another party to that contract or any third party to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters (Art. 18bis of FIFA RSTP). However, this article of the FIFA RSTP is not strictly enforced.

FIFPro requests a strict enforcement of the FIFA Regulations concerning third-party ownership as well as a prohibition of the trade of registration rights with other parties then the club, for the following reasons:

  • There is a risk of conflict of interest, as third parties might own various players at different clubs. This could damage the integrity of competitions;
  • There is a risk that players are merely used as commodities, as third parties are purely interested in profit, which can only be created by transfers. This could result in trafficking or ownership;
  • Third-party ownership will take considerable percentages of the revenue away from the game.

"We support UEFA's efforts to eradicate it", Barnes says. "Third-party ownership is banned in England, France and some other countries. It is time that it will be banned in all other countries."

"We accept that this cannot happen overnight. A transitional period must be introduced, as there are many clubs who currently enjoy financial support from third parties. This must be slowly and gradually reduced."

Media contact

For more information, please contact the FIFPro Communications Department
Tel: +31235546970.