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A successful first step, that is how representatives from FIFPro Division Europe valued the meeting that was held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday January 17th.


All partners in the professional football social dialogue gathered in Nyon for the first so-called kick-off meeting regarding the implementation of the minimum requirements for standard player contracts: UEFA, EPFL (leagues), ECA (clubs) and FIFPro (players).


UEFA President Michel Platini opened the meeting kindly hosted by UEFA in its headquarters and said: ‘The Minimum requirements for players contracts is a very important step forward. We are living in 2013, not in the 1950’s anymore.’


‘Implementation of the Agreement is not an easy task but we are committed to succeed. Also to achieve the goals of the Financial Fair Play rules we need to have these reasonably minimum requirements for players contracts implemented.’


In April 2012, all stakeholders signed the Autonomous Agreement and thereby committed themselves to ensure that the minimum requirements enter into force throughout the UEFA territory within three years. Each and every country within the EU and in the rest of the UEFA territory must implement and comply with the Autonomous Agreement. A large number of mainly Western-European countries already have standards that meet the minimum requirements.


For the countries that need to implement the Autonomous Agreement, kick-off meetings are scheduled at UEFA headquarters: Three kick-off meetings in total (see graphic below).


Click to enlarge


The first kick-off meeting was attended by the representatives of the national associations, player unions, leagues and clubs of five countries: Croatia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. They were informed about the Autonomous Agreement and the work that needs to be done to put the agreement into force. All countries are to establish a task force with representatives of all stakeholders to lead the implementation process.


‘It was a very successful meeting’, said Mads Øland, board member of FIFPro Division Europe and highly involved in the social dialogue. ‘UEFA – on behalf of all social partners – managed to explain to the various partners the actions that need to be taken in the implementation process. All countries accepted their role in this process.'


'Now the social dialogue on the national level will start. In negotiations between all parties solutions on the national level have to be found on how to implement the Agreement. I hope and expect that they will collaborate with each other in a successful manner. A task force with representatives of UEFA, FIFPro, EPFL, ECA and possibly also FIFA will travel to all countries to assist in the process.’


FIFPro hopes that the implementation will be realized shortly. ’Formally we have three years from the signing of the Autonomous Agreement on 19 April 2012 until all countries have to have implemented the Agreement, but I think it can be done within a shorter period of time. Certainly the process has had a positive start now ’, Øland said.


Øland emphasized the three most important issues on FIFPro’s agenda during the implementation of the Autonomous Agreement:

  1. An improved social dialogue in each country. Two things stand out: 1) the atmosphere between players’ unions and all other stakeholders must improve, and 2) each partner must acknowledge the FIFPro member union as a partner in the social dialogue.
  2. An appropriate arbitration system (National Dispute Resolution Chamber) must be put in place in each country. Each NDRC must have equal representation of players and clubs with an independent judge in between;
  3. Each player must be employed through the signing of an employment contract with reference to labour law. Currently hundreds of footballers in various countries have signed other types of contracts. As agreed in the Autonomous Agreement, each player must have one written employment contract registered in the FA.