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UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF THE GAME

A guide to the Portuguese Regulations of Intermediaries

Published 04 November 2016 | Authored by: Hugo Vaz Serra

Portugal is at the forefront of the global transfer market. According to FIFA’s TMS report for August 20161, the Portuguese market is placed fourth globally for incoming transfers (155 transfers) and fifth for receipts (USD 85,000,000) and expenses (USD 87,000,000). And while Portugal does not appear in the top 5 for outgoing transfers, the author believes that this could well change after the success of the national team (main squad and U21s) in the recent European Championships.

With this in mind, the author thought that it would be useful to explain Portugal’s domestic intermediaries regulations. Accordingly, this article looks at:

  • Introduction to Portuguese Regulation of Intermediaries
  • Definition of an “Intermediary
  • Registration process
  • Registration requirements
  • Payments/commission levels
  • Assessment of reputation
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Prohibitions (who can’t act as an intermediary?)
  • Transparency
  • Minors
  • Terminology
  • Disputes
  • Comment

 

Portuguese Regulations of Intermediaries

In April 2014, FIFA sent circular nº 1417 to its 211 affiliated members, containing the new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries (FIFA Regulations).2 As is well known, FIFA’s Regulations effectively repealed the existing regulatory regime of licenced football agents, and replaced it with the concept of “intermediaries” (explained below).3 National football associations were required to implement and enforce the new provisions, albeit they were reserved the right “to go beyond [the] minimum standards/requirements [set out in FIFA’s regulations]”.4 

On 1 April 2015, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) put into force the new Portuguese Regulations of Intermediaries5 (hereinafter, the “Regulations”). The Regulations implement FIFA’s Regulations, while also taking into account the following Portuguese domestic laws: Law nº 28/98 (the legal framework on sports employment contracts6) and Law nº 5/2007 (basic laws on physical activity and sports7).

The key sections of the Regulations are as follows.

 

Definition of an Intermediary

An intermediary is a natural or legal8 person (e.g. a company) who is registered with FPF and who represents, pro bono or under remuneration, a footballer or a club in negotiations in order to conclude an employment contract or a transfer contract.9

Interestingly, under Article 22.1 of Law 28/98 and Article 37.1 of Law 5/2007, legal persons were already entitled to act as players’ agents. However, it was only after the Regulations came into force that legal persons were given an entirely even footing to natural persons.

 

Registration process

The old “licenced” regime required an individual to pass a written examination before being issued a licence. This has now gone and has been replaced by a mandatory registration10, which is public.11 Registration may be requested for just one season,12 without prejudice of subsequent renewals.

Intermediaries can request that they be registered prior to the signing of a deal in which they are acting. If a company wishes to be registered, a natural person with powers to represent the company must previously be registered as an intermediary.13

.

Registration requirements:

Upon registration or subsequent renewals, the intermediary has to remit to FPF:

  • a civil liability insurance policy14 to cover damages, in the minimum amount of EUR 50,00015;

  • copies of the Id card/passport and the tax card16,

  • a statement of honour affirming that they have no contractual relations with leagues, FA’s, confederations or FIFA that might cause a potential conflict of interest17

  • an updated certificate of criminal record18;

  • a statement affirming that the requestor is not insolvent;19 and

  • a certificate issued by the competent authority attesting that there are no overdue payables of tax and social charges20. All the documents must be written in Portuguese21; it must be paid a tax of EUR 1,00022>, being half of this amount delivered to the Wages Guarantee Fund23.

 

Payments/Commission Levels

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About the Author

Hugo Vaz Serra

Hugo Vaz Serra

Hugo is currently a sports lawyer in Portugal, focusing his main activity in sports law and management. He is also an Arbitrator at the Portuguese CAS. Previously, he acted as an in house lawyer at leading Portuguese club Sporting Clube de Portugal for more than 11 years and was also the club’s TMS Manager (since the early days of this FIFA platform). In his activities at the club he regularly dealt with the Portuguese Football Federation, Portuguese Football League, UEFA, FIFA, CAS, as well as many foreign clubs.

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