The TMS explained

Transfers to receive transparency: The new Transfer Matching System (TMS)
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Following two years of trials and training the Transfer Matching System (TMS) comes into effect on Friday 1 October. The initiative harnesses modern electronic technology with the aim of making international transfers more transparent and protecting minors. But how will it work? has all the details on what is a major step forward in the regulating of international football transfers.

How did the TMS come into being?A decision was taken at the FIFA Congress in 2007 to implement an online system for registering transfers, one that would replace the old procedure based on agreements signed on paper. The new tool was developed and tested over the next three and a half years, with training given to FIFA member associations and to clubs. In that time TMS technicians have trained staff at 3,633 clubs in all 208 associations.

To which type of transfers does it apply?The system is designed to regulate the international transfers of male professional footballers and does not cover so-called “domestic” transfers, i.e. those between clubs of the same  association . It may be extended at a later date, however. Nor does the TMS apply to transfers of players who retain their amateur status when moving between clubs, although the transfer of a player from amateur to professional status must be registered in accordance with the system. 

Who is responsible for entering the information on the system?In order for a transfer to be validated the two clubs involved must enter the relevant information on the deal. Member associations must keep all information relating to the league season in question up to date, as well as information on player registrations, clubs and agents.

What information has to be provided?The following information must be given: The names of the clubs, the member associations, player  details (date of birth, nationality, first last and middle names) , type of transfer (permanent, loan, exchange), possible commission payments, the total transfer fee, details of any training compensation or solidarity contributions, payment deadlines (of which there may be one or more), the payment schedule (including dates, amounts paid and recipients), details of payments already made (including information on the paying bank, the payee bank, the amount paid, the date of payment and the recipient). 

What other guarantees need to be provided?As well as the information above, clubs and associations are required to upload a series of documents in the system. These are as follows: documents providing proof of the nationality, correct spelling of name  and age of the player; a copy of the player’s new contract of employment, a copy of the transfer agreement and proof of payments. 

How will the system increase transparency?The fact that fraud is very difficult to carry out online guarantees transparency. Clubs and their member associations are responsible for the information they enter on the system and for the actions that need to be undertaken. Prior to forwarding information, clubs are required to tick a box confirming that no third parties are involved in the transaction. Each club and association has their own system account and this allows the TMS teams to view the information they provide immediately, enabling them to identify each party involved along with any irregularities. 

How will the TMS monitor information?The TMS has a  dedicated compliance and monitoring team  plus a number of additional tools that oversee each transfer.  

What happens if a transfer is not completed in the correct manner?The TMS comes into effect on 1 October. Clubs and associations failing to apply the system after that date may be subject to a wide range of penalties imposed by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the seriousness of the violation. These penalties are as follows: An official warning, a fine, exclusion from a competition, the withholding of a trophy or award, the annulment of match results, match forfeiture, a points deduction, demotion to a lower division and a transfer ban.

How will the system protect minors?Transfer requests are handled by the TMS following their approval by a sub-committee of FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee. Clubs are required at this point to provide a number of different documents (between four and nine) including, for example, the employment contracts of the minor’s parents.  

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