The FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”) have played a key role in the training and development of players as well as the good functioning of football competitions since 2001. The original objectives and principles of the transfer rules remain sound: the protection of contractual stability; encouragement of training; solidarity between the elite and grassroots; protection of minors; competitive balance; and ensuring the regularity of sporting competitions.
However, the RSTP were designed in another era, with the last major reform taking place almost twenty years ago. The prevailing circumstances and worrying trends of today’s transfer market indicate that these objectives have not been yet fully achieved or are being undermined.
As part of the “FIFA 2.0: The vision for the future”, the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has several times reaffirmed his commitment in introducing fundamental changes over the football transfer market. Since then and led by FIFA’s Football Stakeholders Committee (‘FSC’), under the stewardship of FIFA Vice – President, Victor Montagliani, the reform of the transfer system has seen unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration amongst football’s stakeholders, which are represented by the Confederations, Member Associations, leagues, clubs and player representatives.
At this moment, one of the key worrying trends for FIFA and its stakeholders relates to the effective payments associated to the existing Training Rewards mechanisms (solidarity mechanism and training compensation; cf. art. 20 and 21 as well as Annexes 4, 5 and 6 of the RSTP).
Based on recent FIFA’s internal analysis and estimations, and corroborated by other studies carried out by football stakeholders, including the ECA, the gap between the solidarity contribution and training compensation rewards due to training clubs and the actual training rewards paid by engaging clubs to training clubs is growing every season.
FIFA expects that the adoption of the FIFA Clearing House system will effectively ensure the payment of the Solidarity Contribution and Training Compensation amounts to training clubs all around the world, with the potential to increase the amount of money distributed to training clubs by up to four times of what they currently receive.
Following FIFA’s Council decision of 26 October 2018, the FIFA Administration has started working on the project of the FIFA Clearing House with the vision of automating distribution and payments of training rewards between clubs. More information about this project can be found in this video aimed at FIFA’s member associations.
It is envisioned that the FIFA Clearing House will be a separate entity under the full control of FIFA in charge of processing payments related to Training Rewards between clubs all around the world. These payments are due from the new club to the training clubs of the player, in cases where a player is transferred or registered at an association as a professional, in accordance with the provisions laid down in the RSTP.
FIFA will calculate the Training Reward payments and will communicate these to the FIFA Clearing House for their execution. The FIFA Clearing House will act as a central counterparty in these payments and will be in charge of performing all required checks. Specifically it will make sure that the money paid by the new club is correctly distributed to the training clubs based on an global electronic player passport system and in compliance to national and international financial regulations, including applicable Anti-Money Laundering laws and checks for sanctioned countries.
Once fully operational, it is estimated that around 400 million USD per year will be paid through the FIFA Clearing House, comprising more than 14’000 transactions, involving more than 120 countries and 15 different currencies.
In this context, FIFA is opening a tender process, by which companies will be invited to submit their proposals to support in the establishment and operation of the FIFA Clearing House.
Specifically, FIFA is seeking support in:
A. Establishing, i.e. founding and setting up, the FIFA Clearing House as a separate legal entity under the control and full ownership of FIFA, for the purposes of the execution of Clearing House tasks, initially, in relation to the payments of training rewards.
B. Defining the required processes for compliance with legal and financial regulations according to the jurisdiction of the FIFA Clearing House.
C. Managing the operation of the Clearing House, performing financial administration, accounting and compliance processes related to execution of Clearing House payments (managed services).
D. Providing, operating and maintaining the required information systems to execute and manage payments and related processes, integrated with FIFA systems and banking systems.
Companies wishing to participate in this process are requested to consider the RFP document available online here and to submit a confirmation of intent no later than 15th September 2019 by email to FIFAClearingHouse@fifa.org. Confirmations of intent must specify the name of the company and description of services it provides, and the job title and name of the representative responsible for the tender process.