The FIFA Executive Committee has today approved the new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries at its meeting in Zurich. The approval by the committee concludes an extensive and continuous consultation process involving member associations, confederations, clubs, FIFPro and professional football leagues, originally initiated in 2009 when the 59th FIFA Congress decided that an in-depth reform of the players’ agents system was necessary in order to address several shortfalls that had been identified within the licensing system.
During this time, FIFA put in place and supported a thorough discussion and exchange of views procedure with the relevant parties of the international football community in the framework of working groups within FIFA’s Committee for Club Football, with the ultimate objective of proposing a new system that is more transparent and simpler in its implementation and administration. All possible identified options were discussed and analysed within the working groups so that ultimately the system to be proposed meets the objective of achieving a high degree of acceptance by the main parties concerned according to the needs of modern-day relations between players and clubs.
The aim of the review conducted by the working group was never to “deregulate” the profession, but on the contrary, to seek broader control over individuals who represent players and/or clubs in the negotiations of employment contracts and transfer agreements, and enhance the overarching framework with a view to greater transparency. The regulations no longer attempt to regulate access to the activity, but instead control the activity itself: players and clubs should be able to choose any parties as intermediaries, but would have to respect certain minimum principles.
The new approach on which the new text is based was supported by the FIFA Executive Committee (21 March 2013) and also overwhelmingly endorsed at the 63rd FIFA Congress (30-31 May 2013). The regulations, which are aimed at services of intermediaries used by players and clubs to conclude employment contracts or transfer agreements, define the following minimum standards/requirements that the member associations will have to implement and enforce:
- Players and clubs must act with due diligence when selecting an intermediary
- For the sake of transparency, a registration system for intermediaries shall be put in place at member association level, whereby intermediaries shall be registered for every transaction they are involved in
- Mandatory Intermediary Declaration for natural and legal persons (as annexes to the regulations)
- Provisions on prerequisites for registration
- Enhanced transparency provisions (requirements for disclosure and publication of financial aspects of transactions involving intermediaries)
- Indications for the payments to intermediaries (benchmarks for fee calculation, no payments if player is a minor, etc.)
- Conflicts of interest (e.g. proper disclosure of information by parties)
Following the approval of the FIFA Executive Committee, the new regulations will come into force on 1 April 2015 – replacing the current FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations – provided that the necessary amendments to the FIFA Statutes are approved by the 64th FIFA Congress in June 2014.