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Professional Football Report 2019: 91% of member associations implementing club licensing

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A total of 3,425 professional clubs around the world, top-tier competitions in 205 countries and 91 per cent of member associations with a licensing system in place (which represents an increase of 13 percentage points since the last such survey): these are some of the standout stats from FIFA’s Professional Football Report 2019, which has been published today.

Besides global figures for the 2018/19 (or, where relevant, 2018) season, the report shines the spotlight on each individual member association and provides a number of comparative statistics, including:

  • In nearly two thirds of the cases, the organiser of the domestic top-tier competition is the member association as opposed to the league.
  • 63 per cent of the top-tier competitions are supported by a title sponsor.
  • Collective selling is by far the most common option when it comes to broadcasting rights; only clubs in 23 countries individually sell the rights to televise their matches.
  • Overall, 60 per cent of domestic competitions are based on a home‑and‑away format, while 81 per cent implement promotion and relegation.
  • 71 per cent of the countries have measures in place limiting the number of players that a club may register.

FIFA’s Professional Football Report 2019 also includes details on international transfers, such as:

  • Transfer windows covered slightly more than a quarter of a year (97 days).
  • Only 37 member associations saw more than 150 new international signings.
  • One quarter of the 211 countries had no incoming players from abroad.

The Professional Football Report 2019 follows on from FIFA’s Global Club Football Report, which was published in 2017 and 2018.

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