The FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee (FSC), chaired by Victor Montagliani, took further steps in the reform of the transfer system by endorsing key measures included in the third reform package during its meeting held by videoconference today.
Following a series of meetings with stakeholders from the professional game that took place from February to April 2021 and the subsequent agreement of objectives by the Task Force Transfer System, the FSC today confirmed a number of general principles:
General principles of the third reform package approved by the FSC
1) International transfer of minors
Humanitarian exception: to examine the humanitarian exception in article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and whether it could be applied more flexibly or modernised to reflect “real-life” cases that are rejected.
Trials: to explore a regulatory framework for trials in order to provide legal certainty and protect minors (and all footballers) from exploitation.
Private academies: to explore the possibility of reviewing and modernising the regulation of private academies (currently covered by article 19bis of the RSTP) operating outside the scope of organised football.
Safeguarding: to explore the possibility and feasibility of minimum protection standards for minors who transfer internationally.
2) Squad sizes (loans)
To combat the hoarding of players, stakeholders agreed on new loan rules in February 2020. However, the introduction of these rules was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FSC agreed on the implementation of the new loan rules as of 1 July 2022.
3) Registration periods (transfer windows)
Flexible application of time allocation to registration periods: flexibility to be allowed regarding the time allocated to registration periods each season.
Association football calendar: redefinition of the correlation between the: (i) season start date; (ii) national (league) competition start date; and (iii) opening and closing of the first registration period of a season.
End of registration periods: to explore more possibilities for unemployed players to be registered outside registration periods.
4) Financial regulation
Financial governance guidelines: to explore the possibility of recommending global financial governance guidelines to incentivise financial sustainability and stability, minimum club governance measures and the transparency of financial flows within the football transfer system.
Financial consequences in cases of breach of contract: to explore whether the financial consequences determined in article 17 of the RSTP provide sufficient protection for the achievement of the objectives of the football transfer system.
5) Other regulatory matters
Respect of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs): it was agreed to examine the primacy of CBAs (where referencing labour matters) that have been validly negotiated by employer and employee representatives at domestic level in accordance with national law, in the context of the RSTP.
Sporting just cause: assessment of article 15 of the RSTP, which permits a player to terminate a contract with “sporting just cause”, and, in particular, whether it continues to fulfil its original purpose.
Registration: examination of the regulatory framework governing registration, with the aim of providing legal certainty and transparency on several elements.
Furthermore, at today’s meeting, the FSC discussed the proposed “Guidelines for the recognition of the competence of top-end coaches between confederations”.
The guidelines have been created by an expert panel composed of specialists from all confederations in order to establish a compact, transparent, objective and non-discriminatory framework for the recognition of the competence of top-end coaches across confederations. The ultimate objective is to reach a mutual agreement between confederations for automatic cross-confederation recognition of coach licences.
The principles of the third reform package as well as the proposed “Guidelines for the recognition of the competence of top-end coaches between confederations” have now been submitted to the FIFA Council for its approval at its meeting on 20 May 2021.
This was the last meeting of the FSC in its current composition. Since its first meeting, held in March 2017, the FSC has made major headway towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent transfer system, with the FIFA Council endorsing the first and second reform packages in October 2018 and October 2019 respectively.
Further details on the achievements of the FSC since 2017 are available here.