Forming teams of their own: The dramatic emergence of player associations across the globe

World flags on footballs
Published 26 January 2017 | Authored by: Braham Dabscheck

In 1974 the Brookings Institution published a volume edited by economist Roger Noll entitled Government and the Sports Business.[1] In a chapter on "Labor[2] Relations in Sport" James Scoville observed that "player associations are almost as old as professional sports".[3] His major concern was examining their impact on the respective labour markets of the Big Four of American sports, baseball, basketball, American football and (ice) hockey.

This paper contains an Appendix entitled "An Imperfect Register of Player Associations: November 2016". It provides information on the name, year of formation of player associations and their membership, or otherwise, into different types of federations/confederations. Distinctions are made between associations of employees and independent contractors.[4] There are also a small number of amateur associations who, broadly speaking, operate in a similar way to player associations. As explained in the Appendix, broad references to respective websites are provided rather than the full referencing associated with scholarship, because of reasons of space.

The Appendix enables us to be precise in identifying the player associations in existence when Scoville made his observation. In 1973, there were 29 player associations operating across the globe. Eleven were in Football/Soccer (eight in Europe, three in South America), six in North America (the Big Four in the USA, plus Rodeo Cowboys and Canadian Footballers), Jockeys[5] in the USA, Canada, France, England and Ireland, two in Cricket (England and West Indies), Baseball players in Japan, French Cyclists, Finnish Basketball and players of Australian Football. The oldest continuous association is England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, formed in 1907.[6] In 1965, five Football associations from France, Scotland, England, Italy and the Netherlands formed the first ever players’ federation, the International Federation of Professional Footballers’ Associations (FIFPro), "to co-ordinate the activities of the different players’ associations and indeed to represent the interests of the professional players…[and] to have contact with FIFA".[7] 

There were also twenty associations of independent contractors in 1973. Eighteen of these were Professional Golf Associations, fifteen male and three female (USA, Japan and Australia), in Europe, North America, South Korea, Japan and nations connected to the British Commonwealth. The other independent contractors were in men’s and women’s tennis. The Professional Golfers Association of Great Britain and Ireland formed in 1901. It is the oldest continuous independent contractor’s association/player body in world sport.

In summary, in 1973 there were eleven sports which had formed player bodies, spread across 25 nations with the majority of both concentrated in Europe and North America. Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in player associations in numerous sports. As of November 2016, there are (by the author’s research) 226 player organisations (174 player associations and 52 independent contractors) operating in 35 sports and 86 countries/national groupings. Five associations emerged in 2016 alone; male Footballers in Zambia and female Footballers in Chile, Rugby players in Japan, Professional Fighters in the USA, and male and female Field Hockey players in Australia.* In terms of player bodies as a whole, this is an increase of 461 percent; for player associations, an increase of exactly 600 per cent, and 260 per cent for independent contractors.


Table One

Formation of Player Associations: 1900 to November 2016




Other Player


Total Player




1900-09 1     1 1 2
1910-19         5 5
1920-29     1 1 4 5
1930-39     1 1 1 2
1940-49 3   3 6 1 7
1950-59 1   5 6 2 8
1960-69 5   5 10 4 14
1970-79 5   5 10 7 17
1980-89 2 1 6 9 9 18
1990-99 11   12 23 7 30
2000-09 21 1 28 50 5 55
2010-16 10 6 14 30 5 35



1 11 15 27 1 28
Total 60 19 75 174 52 226

Source: Appendix

* Note – subsequently, the author has become aware of two additional players associations established after this date: the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA) and the MMA Fighters Association.

Table One provides a summary of the formation of player associations and independent contractors, by decade, from 1900 to November 2016. Independent contractors, in the form of Professional Golf Associations were the dominant form of player body in the first half of the century. Player associations have taken over since then. Excluding those football player associations with "links" to FIFPro where the author has been unable to obtain information concerning their name and/or date of formation (see Table A Two), 103 of 147 (70.1 per cent) have been formed since 1990. In the same period 17 independent contractors have been formed. Out of the total player bodies whose date of formation is known, 120 out of 198, or 60.6 per cent, have formed since 1990.

Another feature of the growth of player associations is their penchant for organising into federations or confederations. FIFPro formed in 1965. At the end of the 1980s it had a dozen members.[8] Its membership base increased dramatically thereafter (Table One). Golfers in Europe (and other places) formed a European federation in 1990. In 2010 it, with PGAs from other nations, formed a global federation, the PGA World Alliance. Cricketers formed a federation in 1998. Since the beginning of the new millennium, federations have emerged in various other sports, on a national and continental basis, especially in Europe (Spain witnessed the operation of the Asociacion De Atletas from 2009 to 2016 which collapsed, due to financial problems and internal dissent. Its member associations represented Basketball, Athletes, Cyclists, Football, Handball and Indoor Football players[9]) and a global confederation in the form of Uni World Athletes, formed in 2011, with over 120 (possibly 141) member associations.[10] In addition, there has been the formation of the equivalent of nation based general unions[11], with players from a number of sports joining together in Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Slovenia. Excluding these general unions, there are fourteen player federations/confederations.


Table Two

Player Association Federations/Confederations

Title Year Formed Mode Of Organisation Member Associations
International Federation Of Professional Footballers’ Associations 1965 Sport Federation 60 + 19
Federation Of International Cricketers’ Associations 1998 Sport Federation 7
International Rugby Players’ Association 2001 Sport Federation 10
World Association Of Ice Hockey Player Unions 2007 Sport Federation 5
European Handball Players’ Union 2008 European Sport Federation 7
Union Basketteurs D’Europe 2009 European Sport Federation 10
Professional Players’ Federation: UK 1991 National Federation 12
Le Federation Nationale Des Associations Of Syndicats De Sportif: France 1992 National Federation 5
Australian Athletes Alliance 2007 National Federation 8
New Zealand Athletes Federation 2010 National Federation 6
Dansk Elitesportsudoveres Forening: Denmark   General Union  
Latvian Trade Union For Sport and Tourism 2009 General Union  
NL Sporter: The Netherlands 2001 General Union  
NL Sporter: Belgium   General Union  
Sindikat Sportnikov Slovenia 2004 General Union  
European Elite Athletes Association 2007 Continental Confederation 34
Uni World Athletes 2011 Global Confederation 122 + 19
Professional Golf Associations Of Europe 1990 European Sport Federation 32
PGA World Alliance 2010 Global Sport Federation 36

Source: Appendix. A space means an absence of knowledge.

The information summarised in Tables One and Two concerning the growth in both the number of player associations and their coalescing into federations/confederations is interesting from a sports perspective, but is of more significance for industrial relations scholars. Both of these developments are in the opposite direction to that which has occurred in traditional or mainstream industrial relations. In the author’s opinion, the ability of traditional unions to organise and represent workers has been in decline in response to the forces of neo-liberalism as enshrined in aggressive stances by employers, governments and state institutions. Between 1975, a year after Scoville made his observation and 2014, the percentage of workers who are members of unions in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries has fallen from 47 to 16.7 per cent[12]. And neo-liberalism has made it difficult, if not impossible, for unions to organise globally to defend the wages and working conditions of members. Unions have been on decline; but not in the increasingly varied world of sports.


The Growth Of Player Associations

In the four decades since Scoville made his observation there has been an increasing demand for sports of various types across the globe. Aided by technological advances associated with broadcasting and the internet, sport constitutes a growth industry. Respective sports generate increasing revenue from spectators, broadcasters, sponsors, suppliers of sporting goods and associated paraphernalia.[13] Leagues and clubs demand that players devote more of their time and energy to training/practice and playing and impose various codes and controls on their behaviour to enhance both the quality of performance and the "clean" image of the sport. Players became aware of the wealth they generate and have turned to collective action to obtain a "fair" share and pursue concerns over various controls imposed on them.

With respect to traditional or mainstream areas of employment, a strong economic base does not in and of itself translate into "successful" unionism. As data from the OECD above demonstrates, the last four decades have been associated with a decline in mainstream unionism. Employers have used relocation of operations to other parts of the nation and off shore and the use of replacement workers to break the back of unions. This is a strategy that is unlikely to work in, especially team, sports.[14] While leagues may experience problems in determining their size and where best to allocate teams, they will not move "production" to other lands, as in the case of mainstream employers. This would trash their brand and destroy their supporter base. Football Club Barcelona, for example, will always be based in Barcelona. The difference between sport and the mainstream is that labor is more mobile than capital.[15] This gives player associations and their leaders an advantage vis-a-vis mainstream unions.

Employment in sport is different from the mainstream in another way. While workers can shop around for employment with numerous employers, most players have been constrained in their ability to choose their employer; especially after they sign their first professional contract. They have been subject to employment rules which have fundamentally restricted their employment rights. Employment in sport is different from the mainstream in another way. While workers can shop around for employment with numerous employers, most players have been constrained in their ability to choose their employer; especially after they sign their first professional contract or accept funding conditions from their governing body, as is the case in countries such as the UK where athletes sign over various rights in return for funding. Players find themselves being confronted by monopsonists and cartels. Leagues, by definition, operate as cartels in organising various aspects associated with the production of their respective sports. As mentioned above, neo-liberalism has had negative effects on mainstream unions and workers, more generally. It has had the opposite effect, especially in the case of team sports, and has enhanced the cause of player associations.

Various leagues have imposed various types of labor market controls–such as zoning/residential requirements, age limits, drafting, transfer and compensation systems, assignment, reserve/option clauses, wage maxima and salary caps. These controls have provided a rallying cry for player associations. Moreover, courts have invariably ruled against such controls as unreasonable restraints of trade, breaching antitrust and pro competition legislation and the freedom of movement of labour, per the European Treaty.[16]

To the extent that leagues wish to continue with (new) versions of such controls they have an incentive to negotiate with player associations, and to use such agreements as a shield from restraint of trade or anti-competitive attacks; what is known as the labour exemption. That which resolves from such bargaining will be determined by the organisational skill and the bargaining verve of the respective parties. In contrast to most sports in other nations, industrial relations in the USA’s Big Four has been associated with lengthy strikes and lockouts.[17]

The most important of these cases occurred in Europe. It involved Jean Marc Bosman’s successful challenge to the European Court of Justice which found the Union des Associations Europeenne de Football (UEFA) (and hence FIFA’s) requirement for the payment of compensation fees for players who changed clubs at the expiry of their contracts, and restrictions on the number of European nationals who could play for a team, to be in contravention with the freedom of movement of workers enshrined in the European Treaty.[18]

Bosman received support from two FIFPro affiliates, France’s Union Nationale Des Footballeurs Professionals and the Netherlands’ Vereniging Van Contractspelers, in pursuing his case.[19] In 1994, FIFPro entered into a reform phase to professionalise its operation with the establishment of a permanent secretariat. Associated with this and following Bosman there was a concerted attempt to encourage the growth of player associations in other parts of the Football world.[20] It increased its membership from a dozen, at the end of the 1980s, to 60 in 2016. Most FIFPro affiliated associations, including the "Don’t Knows" (Table One), emerged in this post Bosman period.

Also following Bosman there have been developments within Europe to promote Social Dialogue between the parties involved in sport, as well as mainstream or broader employment.[21] Focusing specifically on sport, Article 165 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty states "The Union shall contribute to the promotion of European sports issues… [by] developing the European dimension in sport, by promoting fairness and openness in sporting competitions and cooperation between bodies responsible for sports and by protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen, especially the youngest sportsmen and sportswomen".[22]

Such an Article, especially the "promotion…[of] cooperation between bodies responsible for sports" provides a "free kick" to further the involvement of player associations in their respective sports. On 17 June 2011, the European Association of Sport Employers and UNI Europa Sport, the percussor to Uni World Athletes, announced the formation of an informal Social Dialogue Committee for sport and active leisure.[23] Committee have been established in Football[24] and Basketball.[25] The World Association of Ice Hockey Player Unions’ specifically points to Article 165 of the Lisbon Treaty as providing the impetus for it becoming involved in Social Dialogue.[26]

As with the example of FIFPro, other federations/confederations have provided support to other players in forming player associations. The Pacific Island Rugby Players’ Association received support from colleagues in New Zealand, and officers of the Australian Athletes Alliance were active in the formation of the Australian [Field] Hockey Players’ Association.[27]

The Chess Players’ Association of India was created in response to a decision by Indian Chess authorities to reduce prize money by ten per cent.[28] The most idiosyncratic formation of a player association occurred in Australia and provides a dramatic illustration of how player associations benefit from that darling of neo-liberalism, competition. The Rugby Union Players’ Association received recognition, financial support and power to direct the allocation of 95 per cent of broadcasting revenue before it was even formed, from the Australian Rugby Union, to stop players from agreeing to play in a rival "league".[29]

The Hong Kong Ultimate Players’ Association is a self governing body which organises Frisbee competitions. Other amateur associations such as Ireland’s Gaelic Player Associations, for both men and women, and the National College Players’ Association and College Athletes Players’ Association of the USA are mainly concerned with medical, health and welfare needs of members. The National Labor Relations Board, in August 2015, ruled that College Football players at Northwestern University were ineligible to form a union under the National Labor Relations Act 1935.[30] The Gaelic Players’ Association, on the other hand, has negotiated three Framework Agreements with the Gaelic Athletic Association. The third such deal, completed in July 2016, involves a revenue sharing model to fund welfare programs for players.[31]

Independent contractors are mainly concerned with organising tournaments and propagating coaching and improvements in the skills of their respective sports. The PGA World Alliance’s website, for example, states that "Among its principle aims is to establish and guide teaching, playing and educational standards for the golf profession in developing golf territories and share best practices in player development for adults and youth".[32]



Player associations in a particular nation have issues in common where it "makes sense" to act collectively, whether it be in submissions to government departments, courts and other organisations associated with the production of sport. For example, The United Kingdom’s Professional Players’ Federation (PPF), founded in 1991, provides "a forum for the professional player associations to work together for the betterment of professional sport". It has been active in areas of anti-racism and community sport. In recent years it has published material on sports betting integrity, career transition in sport, gambling, mental health and racism.[33]

The Australian Athletes Alliance (AAA), formed in 2007, has been more active than the PPF. It has made representations to government departments, including that of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Australian Senate on a number of issues including unwarranted intrusion by the media into the private lives of athletes, protection against commercial exploitation of athletes’ personal attributes, protection of the rights and properties of sporting organisation and events and workers’ compensation law reform.[34] In 2009, it was successful in an action before the High Court of Australia in having player expenses, such as agent fees, being allowable as a tax deduction.[35] If nothing else, this decision helped strengthen bonds with player agents! In 2010, it released a report which provided comparative data on player shares of income in major sports in Australia, USA and European Football.[36] And in July 2014, it released a Charter of Athletes’ Rights committed to good governance in sport, integrity, athlete development and well being and protection of athletes’ health and safety.[37]

Mainstream unions have found it difficult to resist and overcome the twin forces of neo-liberalism and globalisation (see above). What has the appearance of being a logical response would be for unions to act globally to counter such forces[38]. Putting to one side logistical and financial problems, an inevitable characteristic of neo-liberalism is that employers generally do not form themselves into global organisations. Global unions have no one to "target", or bargain with in seeking to redress what they perceive to be the wrongs of neo-liberalism and globalisation.

The industrial relations architecture of professional sport is fundamentally different from mainstream industrial relations. Sport, tautologically at the international and increasingly, at club level, is organised on a trans-national, continental and international basis. The South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby competition, for example, involves eighteen teams from five nations - Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa – with the odd game played in Hong Kong![39] The UEFA Champions League and Europa League are European wide club competitions.

These competitions, their rules, schedules, distributions of revenue between participating teams, employment rules, payments to players and various codes of behaviour impacting on their employment have to be determined by a transnational, continental or global organisation which is generically known as the sports’ governing body. Such bodies include the European Handball Federation, Euroleague Basketball, FIFA, UEFA, International Cricket Council, World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti Doping Authority (WADA). All of these organisations are in for the long haul and provide a target for federations/confederations of player associations to pursue the rights and interests of their members.

The respective federations/confederations pledge themselves to pursuing the collective interests of players in their respective associations and to the growth and enhancement of their respective sports. The pursuit of the former is seen as integral to the success of the latter. An examination of the activities of the European Elite Athletes Association (EU Athletes) provides information on the type and breadth of activities pursued by these federations/confederations.[40] Its leaders participate in a never ending round of meetings with employer representatives, politicians from different nations, officials of the European Commission and other bodies discussing issues associated with Social Dialogue, anti-doping, good governance, stands against racism, image rights, gender issues, problems with gambling and the education of players, health and well being of players, and education and second career training. As well as this, it provides support and encouragement to new members, exchanges fraternal greetings and holds meetings with overseas player associations, provides reports on industrial campaigns and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements by members, major court cases and other issues associated with the moving feast that is European Sport. Its consistent line is to be a focal point for the enunciation and defense of athletes’ rights in Europe.

In November 2011, a meeting was held in Nyon Switzerland by federations/confederations and individual player associations to establish UNI World Athletes as a global voice for athletes. The meeting concluded with the 2011 Nyon Declaration. It is reproduced here.

We, the independent and democratically elected representatives of (thousands of) top athletes from around the world, today establish a federation of world player associations.

We take this action based on certain core principles and to address a crisis in the governance of world sport organisations that have removed the athlete from the center of sport. There is no sport without athletes.

The societal role of sport is powerful, therefore it cannot be above the law and must respect principles of good governance.

We declare that world sport organisations, and governments, must respect national and international law as well as the fundamental rights of athletes as citizens and workers, including the right to organise collectively in player associations and unions.

Athletes and their collective representatives must play an integral role as stakeholders in all decision-making forums and structures that affect them.

We stand for the equal treatment of all athletes regardless of their ethnic background, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

For sport to thrive, it must be clean, fair, transparent and the unique nature of athletic careers must be taken into account.

We assert this mandate in the interest of sport and the athletes that play it.[41]

At a FIFPro sports law conference on 15 December 2015, which, amongst other things celebrated FIFPro’s fiftieth anniversary, Brendan Schwab, the Head of UNI World Athletes outlined broad policy objectives for the organisation. Besides pointing to crises in sports’ governance (corruption in FIFA and compliance with the WADA Code) and the small percentage of income that players derive from participating in FIFA World Cups (men between 1.8 and 2.2 percent; women 0.3 per cent) his major concern was the lack of involvement of athletes and their representatives in decision making processes.[42] He was particularly critical of the IOC’s John Coates, who is also the President of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, about a comment he made concerning the WADA Code requiring athletes being available for drug testing as "part of the privilege of being an Olympian, part of the privilege of participating in the sport".[43] Schwab is also critical of the IOC and National Olympic Committees’ use of Athletic representatives as being inconsistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and conventions 87 and 96 of the International Labor Organisation which champion the right of workers to organise and collectively bargain.[44] The use of worker representatives, in this case athlete representatives, is a standard union avoidance device which has been used by employers since time immemorial.

Criticism was also directed at then WADA Chairman John Fahey who, in November 2011, expressed opposition to the formation of a body such as UNI World Athletes. He said "the least amount of credibility given to these people the better…WADA should make this clear at every opportunity possible and under no circumstances would it recognise them as representatives of the sportsmen and women of the world".[45] In November 2014, WADA further endeared itself when it refused to grant observer status to representatives of EU Athletes at a meeting in Paris due to the meeting room being too small.[46] Schwab concluded that "athletes, through their associations, [need to be] recognised as critical stakeholders within the governance of sporting bodies, and that good governance, collective bargaining and respect of the rule of law become the principal means by which any notion of the autonomy of sports can be recognised."[47]


Reading The Results In Monday Morning’s Papers

Since 1990 there has been a substantial growth in the number of player associations in an ever-increasing number of sports across the globe. This growth has been associated with player associations forming into federations/confederations to pursue their collective interests. This growth can be explained in terms of player associations benefiting, in contrast to mainstream unions, from neo-liberalism with leagues being forced into recognising player associations to protect their monopsonistic employment rules from attacks by legal norms which champion the virtues of competition and the permanence of employer bodies that govern respective sports. Also, important has been the pro-active role adopted by FIFPro in spreading the cause of player associations to Football’s diaspora. Following Bosman there has been a fivefold increase in FIFPro’s membership. Bosman also witnessed the embrace of Social Dialogue by various parts of the European Commission which further enhanced the growth of player associations and federations/confederations in Europe.

The information contained in the Appendix understates the "state of play" concerning player associations in that it "hides" the increasing inclusion and involvement of women athletes in their affairs; being an off shoot of the burgeoning growth of interest in and popularity of women’s sport.[48] The Appendix identifies seven stand alone female player associations (Football in USA and Chile, Netball in Australia and New Zealand, Indoor Football Spain, Basketball USA and Gaelic players in Ireland), all of which formed in the last two decades; and six independent contractors (five in Golf, plus Tennis). In addition, 28 of FIFPro affiliates represent female members, as do the majority of Australian, New Zealand, Cricket, Rugby, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball, Jockey and Amateur associations.

In 2010, Israeli Basketball players went on strike in support of female members.[49] In 2015, Australia’s female national team, the Matildas, refused to go on a tour to the USA due to "inadequate/low" and late payment of wages.[50] In Australia, 2016 has witnessed a sudden take off in women’s sport with the formation of new leagues and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and increases in wages from "low" levels that did little more than cover out of pocket expenses to, depending on the sport, levels ranging from the legal minimum adult wage through to the national average and, in the case of Cricketers, levels approaching $200,000.[51]

While the last quarter of a century has witnessed an unprecedented burst in player association formation, we should be wary of making predictions concerning how successful or otherwise they will be in the future. Remember, over 100 of the player associations and seventeen independent contractors have formed since 1990. The only confederation with any longevity is FIFPro. History has shown that it takes player associations lengthy periods of time to obtain achievements for members. Player associations and federations can lose their way (the demise of Spain’s Asociacion De Atletas being a case in point), experience difficulties in finding capable and resourceful leaders and will encounter opposition from leagues and sport federations, as the examples above concerning the IOC and WADA demonstrate.

It took England’s PFA, formed in 1907, more than half a century before it managed to redress serious restrictions on its members’ employment rights when threatened strike action brought about the abolition of the maximum wage, in 1961, and success in a legal challenge to the retain and transfer system, in Eastham, in 1963.[52] The MLBPA, arguably the most successful player association in world sport, was formed in 1953. It wasn’t until 1975, under the leadership of former Steelworkers’ Union official, Marvin Miller that it was able to bring about an end to MLB’s option/reserve system and usher in substantial increases in income and benefits for members.[53] It took FIFPro almost thirty years, aided and abetted by Bosman, before it found the wherewithal to become more proactive and lead the charge in the growth of player association which has occurred in recent decades.

What is different now is that there are a large number of player associations and federations/confederations. Aided by technological changes associated with the revolution in communications they are able to learn from each other in how to resolve problems associated with advancing the rights and interests of members. There is also an international career path for capable and ambitious leaders. The respective sports federations/confederations are feeling their way, with varying degrees of success. FIFPro and EU Athletes have both been active, and it is to be seen how UNI World Athletes will proceed in pursuing player rights on a global stage.

The player associations which have experienced the most success have been the Big Four of the USA and the PFA in the UK. They have the most sophisticated collective bargaining deals and have an experience of surviving against hard line, tough negotiating leagues. They all own the intellectual property rights of members in what are sometimes referred to as Group Licensing Schemes, or operate joint money making ventures with their respective leagues.[54] Income from these sources are either distributed to members or allocated to the association in pursuit/defence of more broadly based issues. FIFPro derives most of its income from licensing deals for computer based Football games.[55] Issues around intellectual property rights, challenges to the hegemony of WADA and use of human rights instruments which protect the right to organise and engage in collective bargaining, as foreshadowed by Brendan Schwab in his December 2015 address to FIFPro, may be the major contours along which the future direction of industrial relations in global sport will proceed.



An Imperfect Register of Player Associations: November 2016


This is a Register of player associations as of November 2016. It provides information on their name and date of formation. In twelve per cent of cases information has not been found on when associations were formed. The date of the first reference to an association is provided where it is unclear when it was formed. Numerous associations have changed their names over the years; their current titles are included here. The information is mainly derived from Confederations of player associations and individual association websites. The Register contains 226 individual associations and fourteen confederations. For reasons of space reference will be made in broad terms to a website, rather than full bibliographic details, as is the norm with scholarship. Female only player associations and those formed in 2016 are highlighted in bold. A blank space indicates a lack of knowledge concerning the name of an association and/or when it was formed. If there are errors and/or readers have information concerning other player associations will they please contact me. There are two basic types of player associations which mirror the broader work community; associations of employees and independent contractors. There are also a small number of amateur associations whose behaviour is similar to that of player associations.


Player Associations

Individual Sport Federations

Table A One

Members of International Federation of Professional Footballers’ Associations (FIFPro) 

Formed 1965

Name Of Association Country Year Formed Name of Association Country Year Formed
Veringung Der Fussballer Austria 1988 Sparta ACV Belgium 1955
Association of Bulgarian Footballers Bulgaria 1998 Swiss Association of Football Players Switzerland 2001
Pancyprian Footballers’ Association Cyprus 1987 Czech Association Of Football Players Czech Republic 2011
Spillerforeninen Denmark 1977 Professional Footballers’ Association England 1907
Asociacion De Futbolistas Espanoles Spain 1978 Jalkapallon Pelaajayhdistys Ry Finland 1992
Union Nationale Des Footballeurs Professionals France 1961 Panhellenic Professional Football Players’ Association Greece 1976
Hrvatska Udtuya Nogomrtui Sindikat Croatia 2010 Hivatasos Labdarugok Szervrzete Hungary 1990
Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland Ireland 1960 Associazone Italiani Calciatori Italy 1965[56]
Malta Football Players’ Association Malta 2011 Sindikat Profesionalnih Fudbalera Crne Gore Montenegro 2009
Vereniging Van Contractspelers Netherlands 1961 Norske Idrettsutovers Sentralorganisasjon[57] Norway 1995
Polski Zwiazek Pilkarzy Poland 1997 Sindicato Dos Jogadores Profissionais De Futbol Portugal 1972
Asociata Fotbalistilor Amatori Si Nonamatori Romania 1991 PSFT-Union of Football Players and Coaches Russia 2005
Professional Footballers’ Association Scotland Scotland 1946[58] Sindikat Profesionalnih Fudbelera Nezavsionost Serbia 2009
Sindikat Profesionalnih Igralcev Nogometa Slovenia 2003 Spelarforeningen Fotball/Svergie Sweden 1975
All-Ukrainian Association of Professional Football Players Ukraine 2010 The New Israeli Football Players’ Association Israel 2014
Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados Argentina 1944 Futbolistas Agremiados De Bolivia Bolivia 1977
Federaco Nacional Dos Atletas Profissionais Brazil 2001 Sindicato Futbolistas Profesionales De Chile Chile 1960
Asociacion Colombiana De Futbolistas Columbia 2004 Asociacion De Jugadores Profesionales Costa Rica 2007
Asociacion De Futbolistas Del Ecuador Ecuador 2003

Asociacion De Futbolistas


Guatemala 2011
Agreemiacion De Futbolistas Profesionales Del Peru Peru 2001 Futbolistas Asociados Del Paraguay Paraguay


(First Mention)

Mutual Uruguaya De

Futbolistas Profesionales

Uruguay 1946 Major League Soccer Players’ Union USA 2003
Asociacion Unica De Futbolistas Profesionales De Venezuela Venezuela 2010      
Association Des Footballeurs Ivoiriens Ivory Coast 2007 Footballers’ Union Botswana 2010 Botswana
Syndicat National Des Footballeurs Camerounais Cameroon 1995 Union Des Footballeurs Congolais Democratic Republic of Congo 2004
Egyptian Professional Footballersi Association Egypt 2002 Professional Footballers’ Association Of Ghana Ghana 2009

Union Marocaine Des Footballeurs


Morocco 2007 Namibia Football Players’ Union Namibia 2007
South African Football Players’ Union South Africa 1997 Footballers Union of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 2003
Professional Footballers Australia Australia 1993 Asosiasi Pemain Sepakbola Profesional Indonesia Indonesia 2011
Football Players’ Association Of India India 2006 Japan Pro-Footballers’ Association Japan 1996
Professional Footballers’ Association Of Malaysia Malaysia 2009 New Zealand Professional Footballers’ Association New Zealand 2003
Professional Footballers’ Association Of Palestine Palestine        

Source: FIFPro website.


Table A Two

FIFPro Affiliated, Nascent and Other Football Player Associations

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Vereinigung Der Vertragsfutballspieler Germany 1987
Pro Football Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 2011 (First Mention)
Kenya Footballers’ Welfare Association Kenya 2011
Union, ‘Our Football’ Georgia 2011
  South Korea  
US Women’s National Soccer Team Players’ Association USA 2001
Female Football Players of Chile Chile 2016
Football and Allied Workers Union of Zambia Zambia 2016

Source: FIFPro website; Braham Dabscheck, ‘ “At the top table”: player unions in soccer’, in Wladimir Andreff and Stefan Szymanski (Eds.) Handbook on the Economics of Sport, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2006, 661-667; ‘FAWUS registered, GS tips players’, Zambia Daily Mail, 3 March 2016.


Table A Three

Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA)[59]

Formed 1998

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Australian Cricketers’ Association Australia 1995
Cricketers’ Welfare Association Of Bangladesh Bangladesh 2004
Professional Cricketers’ Association England 1967
New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association New Zealand 2001
South African Cricketers’ Association South Africa 2002
Sri Lankan Cricketers’ Association Sri Lanka 2006 (First Mention)
West Indian Players’ Association West Indies 1973

Source: FICA website.


Table A Four 

International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA)

Formed 2001

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Rugby Union Players’ Association Australia 1995
Rugby Players’ Association England 1998
Provale Union Des Joueurs De Rugby Professionals France 1995
New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association New Zealand 1999
Giocatori D’Italia Rugby Associati Italy 2011
South African Rugby Players’ Association South Africa 1998
Welsh Rugby Players’ Association Wales 2003
Pacific Island Union Players’ Association Pacific Islands 2013
Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association Ireland 2001
Japan Rugby Union Players’ Association Japan 2016

Source: IRPA website; ‘Japanese Rugby players association established’, The Japan Times, 31 May 2016.


Table A Five

World Association Of Ice Hockey Player Unions (WAIPU)

Formed 2007

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Kontinental Hockey League Players’ Trade Union Russia  
Swiss Association of Hockey Players Switzerland 2004
Finnish Hockey Players’ Association Finland 1973
Norwegian Players’ Association For Ice-Hockey Norway 1995
Czech Association of Hockey Players Czech Republic  

Source: WCIHPU website.


Table A Six

European Handball Players’ Union (EHPU)

Formed 2008

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Handball Spiller Foreningen Denmark (Before) 2004
Association Des Joueurs Professionnels De Handball France 2004
GOAL Deutchland Germany  
Leikmannasamtok Islands Iceland 2014
Norske Idrettsutovers Sentralorganisasjon Norway 1995
Asociacion Jugadores De Balonmano Spain 2010
Spelarforeningen Handboll Sverige Sweden  

Source: EHPU website


Table A Seven

Union Basketteurs D’Europe (UBE)

Formed 2009

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Spieler Initiative Basketball Germany 2005
Giocatori Italiani Basket Associati Italy 1981
Asociacion De Baloncestistas Profesionales Spain 2006
Greek Basketball Players’ Association Greece 2008
Union Des Basketteurs Professionnels France 1998
Russian Basketball And Coaches Association Russia (Coaches formed) 2004
Israeli Basketball Players’ Association Israel 1989
NL Sporter Netherlands 2008
Cypriot Basketball Players’ Association Cyprus 2009
Finnish Basketball Players’ Association Finland 1973

Source: UBE website.


National Federations 

Table B One

Professional Players Federation: United Kingdom (PPF)

Formed 1991

Name Of Association Year Formed
Professional Footballers’ Association 1907
Professional Cricketers’ Association 1967
Professional Darts Players’ Association Early 1980s
Professional Footballers’ Association Scotland 1946
Professional Golfers’ Association 1901
Professional Jockeys’ Association 1969
Rugby Players’ Association 1998
The European Tour (Golf)[60] 1972
World Professional Billiards And Snooker Association 1968
Welsh Rugby Players’ Association 2003
Ladies European Tour (Golf)[61] 1968
League Managers’ Association# 1992

Source: PPF website. # Not included in player association count.


Table B Two

Le Federation Nationale Des Associations Of Syndicats De Sportif: France (FNASS)

Founded 1992

Name Of Association Year Formed
Provale Union Des Joueurs De Rugby Professionals 1995
Union Nationale Des Footballeurs Professionals 1961
Union Nationale Des Cyclistes Professionals 1957
Association Des Joueurs Professionnels De Handball 2004
Union Des Basketteurs Professionnels 1998

Source: FNASS website.

Within Europe there are five other National Federations. They are the Dansk Elitesportsudoveres Forening (Danish Elite Athletes’ Association), the date of its formation not known, which represents athletes of badminton, basketball, ice-hockey Martial arts, rowing, and yachting; Latvian Trade Union for Sport and Tourism, formed in 2009, which represents sports teachers and lecturers, employees of the Latvian Academy of Sport, team sports and tennis players; NL Sporter of the Netherlands, formed in 2001 which represents athletes from 70 different sports; Belgium’s ACV Sporta, the date of its formation not known, which represents amateur and professional athletes, such as football and volleyball players and football trainers’; and Sindikat Sportnikov Slovenia (Slovenian Sports Union), formed in 2004 which is open to all athletes who are or have been registered in their branch sports federations.[62]


Table B Three

Australian Athletes Alliance (AAA)

Formed 2007

Name Of Association Year Formed
Australian Football League Players’ Association 1973
Rugby League Players’ Association 1979
Australian Basketball Players’ Association# 1989
Professional Footballers Australia 1993
Rugby Union Players’ Association 1995
Australian Cricketers’ Association 1995
Australian Netball Players’ Association 2002
Australian Jockeys’ Association 2002

Source: AAA website. # Merged with Australian Women’s Basketball Players’ Association, formed in 2009, in 2015.


Table B Four

New Zealand Athletes Federation (NZAF)

Formed 2010

Name Of Association Year Formed
New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association 1999
New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association 2001
New Zealand Professional Footballers’ Association 2003
New Zealand Netball Players’ Association 2007
New Zealand [Field] Hockey Players’ Association 2006
New Zealand Swimmers’ Association 2011 (First Mention

Source: NZAF website.


Continental Federations

Table C One

European Elite Athletes Association (EU Athletes)

Formed 2007 

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Asociacion De Baloncestistas Profesionales Spain 2006
Espanol Asociacion De Ciclistas Professsipnal Spain 1999
Associazione Italiana Giocatori De Pallovolo (Volleyball) Italy  
Giocatori D’Italia Rugby Associati Italy 2011
Asociacion Jugadores De Balonmano Spain 2010
Espanol Cubierta Asociacion De Jugadores De Futbol (Indoor Football) Spain  
Mujer Espanol Cubierta Asociacion De Jugadores De Futbol ( Female Indoor Football) Spain  
Association Des Joueurs Professionnels De Handball France 2004
Dansk Elitesportsudoveres Forening Denmark  
Finnish Hockey Players’ Association Finland 1973
Le Federation Nationale Des Associations Of Syndicats De Sportif France 1992
Giocatori Italiani Basket Associati Italy 1981
GOAL Deutchland Germany  
Gaelic Players’ Association Ireland 1999
Handball Spiller Foreningen Denmark (Before) 2004
Hellenic Professional Volleyball Players Greece 2015
Israeli Basketball Players’ Association Israel 1989
Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association Ireland 2001
Lithuanian Basketball Players’ Association Lithuania  
Latvian Trade Union For Sport And Tourism Latvia 2009
NL Sporter Denmark 2001
Professional Cricketers’ Association England 1967
Professional Players’ Federation United Kingdom 1991
Rugby Players’ Association England 1998
Provale Union Des Joueurs De Rugby Professionals France 1995
Svenda Ishockey Players’ Association Sweden 1977
Union Des Basketteurs Professionnels France 1998
Spieler Initiative Basketball Germany 2005
Belgian Athletes’ Union Belgium  
Sindikat Sportnikov Slovenia Slovenia 2004
Union Nationale Des Cyclistes Professionals France 1957
Union Nationale Des Footballeurs Professionals France 1961

Source: EU Athletes website.


Global Confederation

Table D One 

Uni World Athletes (UWA)

Formed 2011 

Name Of Association Category Of Connection/Country Year Formed
International Federation Of Professional Footballers’ Associations Football Federation 1965
Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations Cricket Federation 1998
International Rugby Players’ Association Rugby Federation 2001
European Elite Athletes Alliance Continental Federation 2007
National Basketball Players’ Association USA 1954
National Women’s Basketball Players Association USA 1998
National Football League Players’ Association USA 1956
National Hockey League Players’ Association Canada 1957
Japanese Professional Baseball Players’ Association Japan 1946
Australian Athletes Alliance National Federation 2007

Source: UWA website.


Other Configurations

Table E One 


Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Jockeys’ Guild USA 1940
Jockeys’ Benefit Association Of Canada Canada 1940
Association Des Jockeys France 1929
Professional Jockeys’ Association England 1969
Irish Jockeys’ Association Ireland 1964
Australian Jockeys’ Association Australia 2002
New Zealand Jockeys’ Association New Zealand  
The New Philippine Jockeys’ Association The Philippines  

Source: Respective websites.


Table E Two

Other European Associations

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Svensk Hockeyspelare Forening Sweden 1977
Association of Rugby League Professionals[64] England 1980

Source: Respective websites.


Table E Three

Other American Associations

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Rodeo Cowboys’ Association USA 1936
Major League Baseball Players’ Association USA 1953
Canadian Football League Players’ Association Canada 1965
Association Argentina De Jugadores De Basquetbol Argentina 1983
Athletes CAN Canada 1992
Associaco Jogadores De Basquete De Brasil Brazil 2008
Asociacion De Jugadores De Basquetbol De Chile Chile  
Association Argentina De Jugadores De Polo Argentina  
Professional Triathlon Association USA 2010
Track And Field Athletes Association USA 2012
Professional Fighters’ Association USA 2016

Source: Respective websites


Table E Four

Other Asian Associations

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Korean Baseball Players’ Association Korea 2000
Taiwanese Baseball Players’ Association Taiwan  
Japanese Basketball Players’ Association Japan  
Chinese Basketball Players’ Association China  
Indian Basketball Players’ Association India 2015#

Source: Private communication. # Sportskeeda, Indian Basketball Players’ Association Formed, 9 June 2015.

Table E Five

Other Australian Associations 

Name Of Association Year Formed
Australian Swimmers’ Association 2002
Australian [Field] Hockey Players’ Association 2016

Source: Respective websites


Table E Six 


Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Association Of Chess Professionals France 2003
Chess Players’ Association Of India India 2004

Source: Respective websites

Table E Seven

Amateurs/College Athletes

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Hong Kong Ultimate Players’ Association (Frisbee)# Hong Kong 1995
National College Players’ Association USA 2002
College Athletes Players’ Association USA 2014
Women’s Gaelic Players’ Association Ireland 2015

Source: Respective websites. # Self governing player body.

Independent Contractors

Continental Federations 

Table F One

Professional Golf Associations Of Europe 

Formed 1990

Country Of Association Year Formed Country Of Association Year Formed
Austria 1980 Belgium 1988
Bulgaria 2005 Canada 1911
Croatia 1996 Czech Republic 1990
Denmark 1974 Estonia 2010
Finland 1985 France 1926
Germany 1927 Great Britain and Ireland 1901
Greece 1989 Holland 1924
Hong Kong 1970 Hungary 2002
Iceland 1988 Israel 1985
Italy 1962 Lithuania  
Malta 1987 Norway 2003
Poland 1995 Portugal 1995
Russia 1997 Serbia 2010
Slovakia 2000 Slovenia 1993
South Africa 1925 Spain 1972
Sweden 1932 Switzerland 1943

Source: PGAs Of Europe website


Global Federation

Table F Two 

PGA World Alliance 

Formed 2010

Country Or Association Year Formed
PGAs Of Europe 2010
USA 1916
Australia 1911
Japan 1957
New Zealand 1913

Source: PGA World Alliance website.


Table F Three

Non Affiliated Male Professional Golf Associations 

Country  Year Formed
South Korea 1963
India 1988

Source: Respective websites.


Table F Four

Female Professional Golf Associations

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Ladies PGA America USA 1950
Australian Ladies PGA Australia 1972
Ladies PGA Of Japan Japan 1968
Women’s PGA Of India India 2004
Korean Ladies PGA South Korea 2010
Women’s PGA-Great Britain and Ireland GB & Ireland 1979

Source: Respective websites.


Table F Five

Other Independent Contractors

Name Of Association Country Year Formed
Association of Tennis Professionals USA 1967
Women’s Tennis Association USA 1973
Professional Squash Association# England 1975
Association Of Surfing Professionals Australasia Australia 1989
Grand Prix Drivers Association Monaco 1994
Polo Instructors And Players’ Association Austria 2011
Race Team Alliance (NASCAR) USA 2014

Source: Respective websites# Merged in 2015 with Women’s Squash Association formed in 1983.



[1] Roger G Noll (Ed.), Government and the Sports Business, Brookings Institution, Washington, 1974.

[2] American spelling.

[3] James G. Scoville, ‘Labor Relations in Sports’, in Noll (Ed.) Government and the Sports Business, p. 206.

[4] For information on the differences between employees and independent contractors please see here: ; (last accessed 26 Jan 2016)

[5] See note 62.

[6] PFA references.

[7] FIFPro website. FIFA is the Federation Internationale De Football Association, the governing body of Football.

[8] FIFPro website.

[9] The best way to source this is to Google Asociacion De Atletas.

[10] See UNI World Athletes website, (accessed 26 Jan 2017) 

[11] Industrial relations scholars define a general union as one which enrols members irrespective of the type of work, craft or industry in which they are employed. The players of respective sports are akin to highly skilled craft workers.

[12] Trends in Trade Union Membership, OECD,, accessed 16 November 2016; OECD.Stat,, accessed 16 November 2016.

[13] Wladimir Andreff and Stefan Szymanski (Eds.) Handbook on the Economics of Sport, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2006.

[14] In 1987, the National Football League used replacement players to break a strike initiated by the NFLPA. Michael Schiavone, Sports and Labor in the United States, SUNY Press, Albany, 2015, 69-71.

[15] Alan M. Klein, Growing The Game: The Globalization Of Major League Baseball, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2006; Raffaele Poli, ‘International Migration of Professional Footballers’, in John Goddard and Peter Sloane (Eds.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014, 227-237.

[16] Major cases are Eastham v Newcastle United Football Club [1964] Ch 413; Buckley v Tutty 125 CLR 353 (1971); The US Supreme Court provided Baseball with an exemption from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890; Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v National League of Professional baseball Clubs, 259 US 200 (1922); Toolson v New York Yankees, 346 US 356 (1953); Flood v Kuhn, 407 US 258 (1972). Its option clause/reserve system was upended in a grievance decision by a private arbitrator: In the Matter of the Arbitration Between The Twelve Clubs Comprising The National League Of Professional Baseball Clubs And The Twelve Clubs Comprising The American League Of Professional Baseball Clubs (Los Angeles Club And Montreal Club) And Major League Baseball Players Association (John A. Messersmith And David A. McNally), Peter Seitz, Chairman, Decision No. 29, Grievance Nos. 75-27, 75-28, 23 December 1975; Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation v Major League Baseball Player Association 532 F 2d 615 (1976), MLB’s unsuccessful appeal of Seitz’s decision. Other US sports have not been afforded such an exemption; Radovich v National Football League, 352 US 445 (1957); Heywood v National Basketball Association, 401 US 1204 (1971); Boston Professional Hockey Association v Cheevers, 348 F Supp 261 (1972); Philadelphia World Hockey Club v Philadelphia Hockey Club, 351 F Supp 462 (1972). In Europe Union des Societies de Football Association v Bosman (Case C-415/93[1995] ECR I-4921); Deutscher Handballbund v Kolpak (Case C-438/00 [2003] ECR 1-4135); Simutenkov v Ministry of Culture and Royal Spanish Football Federation (Case C-265/03 [2005] ECR 1-2579).

[17] Schiavone, Sports and Labor in the United States.

[18] Bosman, note 15.

[19] Opinion of Advocate General Lenz, C-415/93, paragraph 50, delivered 20 September 1995.

[20] Braham Dabscheck, ‘ “At the top table”: player unions in soccer’, in Andreff and Szymanski (eds.), Handbook on the Economics of Sport, 661-667.

[21] Berndt Keller, ‘The regulation of professional football at the European Union level: towards supranational employment relations in the football industry?’, in Michael Barry, James Skinner and Terry Engelberg (Eds.), Research Handbook Of Employment Relations in Sport, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2016, 19-45.

[22] The Treaty of Lisbon, Article 165.

[23] Joint Statement on the Informal Social Dialogue Committee for sports and active leisure by EASE and UNI Europa Sport, Brussels, 17 June 2011.

[24] Keller, ‘The regulation’, 27, note 20.

[25] European Basketball, European Social Dialogue on Professional Basketball begins, 16 February 2011.

[26] WAIPU website. Also see Study Into The Identification Of Themes And Issues Which Can Be Dealt With In A Social Dialogue In The European Professional Cycling Sector, Final Report, October 2009, TMC Asser Institut, The Hague, The Netherlands.

[27] Personal communications.

[28] Wikipedia, Chess Players’ Association of India, accessed 18 November 2016.

[29] Braham Dabscheck, ‘Trying Times: Collective Bargaining in Australian Rugby Union’, Sporting Traditions, 15/1 (1998), 25-49.

[30] National Labor Relations Board, Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association, Case 13-RC-121359, August 17, 2015.

[31] Respective player association websites.

[32] PGA World Alliance website.

[33] PPF website.

[34] AAA website.

[35] Spriggs v Commissioner of Taxation [2009] 239 CLR 1.

[36] Australian Athletes Alliance, The Linkage Between Player Payments And Benefits To Revenue Sharing In Australian Sport, 3 August 2010.

[37] Australian Athletes Alliance, Policy Platform [23 July 2014].

[38] Kim Scipes (Ed.), Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization, Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2016.

[39] SANZAR website.

[40] The following is derived from archives contained in its website.

[41] UNI World Athletes’ website.

[42] Brendan Schwab, ‘The role of athletes in delivering good governance in sport’, 2015 FIFPro sports law conference, Amsterdam, 15 December 2015, pp. 2-5.

[43] Quoted in Schwab, The role, p. 6, note 41.

[44] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948; Conventions and Recommendations, International Labor Organisation, Geneva; Quoted in Schwab, The role, p. 8, note 41.

[45] Quoted in Schwab, The role, p. 7, note 41.

[46] EU Athletes website.

[47] Schwab, The role, p. 19, note 41.

[48] Sarah Shephard, Kicking Off: How women in sport are changing the game, Bloomsbury, London, 2016.

[49] EU Athletes website.

[50] Frances Awaritefe, ‘A Summary OF Australian Football’s Collective Bargaining Dispute’, Law In Sport, 30 September 2015, 1-7.

[51] Respective association websites.

[52] Braham Dabscheck, ‘ “Defensive Manchester”: A History of the Professional Footballers Association’, in Richard Cashman and Michael McKernan, (Eds.), Sport In History: The Making of Modern Sporting Traditions, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, 1979, 227-257; John Harding, For The Good Of The Game: The Official History of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Robson Books, London, 1991.

[53] Charles P. Korr, The End Of Baseball AS We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 2002; Robert F. Burk, Marvin Miller: Baseball Revolutionary, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 2015.

[54] For example, National Basketball Association-National Basketball Players’ Association, Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2011, Article XXXVII, Group Licensing Rights; Basic Agreement Between The 30 Major League Clubs And Major League Baseball Players Association, 2011, Article XXV, B Joint Activities.

[55] Dabscheck, ‘At the top table’, p. 665, note 19.

[56] The FIFPro website contains a contradiction in that Associazone Italiani Calciatori was one of five associations which formed FIFPro in 1965 and states it has always been a member at one and the same time saying it was formed in 1968. The latter date may pertain to when it was registered per Italian labour law. The earlier date is included here.

[57] NISO represents Football, Handball and Hockey players. It is included here as one association (with three branches).

[58] The FIFPro website states the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association was formed in 1955. The Minutes of a Committee Meeting of the (English) Professional Footballers’ Association on 18 March 1946 contain a report on the formation of a Scottish players’ body. The 1946 date is included here.

[59] There was an Indian Professional Cricketers’ Association, formed in 2002, which is now defunct. There are indications that it may be reformed; ‘There should be no confusion on cricket players’ association in India’, Hindustan Times, 5 September 2016.

[60] This is assumed to be an off-shoot of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland and is not included here as a separate association.

[61] This is assumed to be an off-shoot of the Women’s PGA of Great Britain and Ireland and is not included here as a separate association.

[62] EU Athletes website.

[63] Racing authorities purport to employ jockeys as independent contractors. An examination of their employment indicates that they fall within the ‘control’ tests of employees. Braham Dabscheck, ‘Sweated Labour, Literally Speaking: The Case of Australian Jockeys’, in Young Hoon Lee and Rodney Fort (Eds), The Sports Business in The Pacific Rim: Economics and Policy, Springer, New York, 2015, 311-331.

[64] There was also League 13, an association of Super League players that operated from 2012 to 2015. League 13 website.

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About the Author

Braham Dabscheck

Braham Dabscheck

Braham Dabscheck is a Senior Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Previously, he taught industrial relations at the University of New South Wales for 33 years until 2006 and established himself as an international expert in the field. Among his extensive publications are almost 80 book chapters and articles on industrial relations, economic and legal aspects of sports in Australia, Europe (including the United Kingdom), Japan, New Zealand, the United States and Zimbabwe.

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