FIFA’s proposed solidarity mechanism reforms – an effective solution or a lost opportunity?

Published 16 January 2019 By: Toni Roca

FIFA’s proposed solidarity mechanism reforms – an effective solution or a lost opportunity?

On 25 September 2018, FIFA announced that football stakeholders had endorsed a long-desired “landmark reform of the transfer system.1  The reform package, which was formally endorsed by the FIFA Council a month later,2 includes a number of different proposals,3 chief among which are reforms to the solidarity payments mechanism.4 In the words of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, a key objective is to “reinforce solidarity mechanisms for training clubs” and to achieve “the effective enforcement of rules that will deliver millions in solidarity payments to clubs5. To try to accomplish this, the two specific reforms proposed are:

  1. The creation of a “clearing house” to centralize payments associated with transfers; and

  1. The application of the solidarity contribution to domestic transfers with an “international dimension”.6 

This article examines the two proposals in light of how the system currently operates. Specifically, it looks at:

  • The current problems with solidarity payments;

  • Whether a clearing house can be an effective solution;

  • How exactly the “international dimension” will apply; and

  • Proposals on how to improve the current system.

This article assumes a certain level of knowledge about both how the transfer system and solidarity payments currently work, and the new reforms that have been proposed. Readers not familiar with these topics are advised to first read this article on solidarity payments7 and this article on the new reforms8.


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Toni Roca

Toni Roca

Toni is a sports lawyer and partner at Corner Abogado, Palma de Mallorca (Spain).  He advises clubs, agents, sportsmen and federations on matters including transfer and contracting of players, dispute resolution before national and international bodies (FIFA, CAS); sponsorship and image rights and disciplinary proceedings.

He is also Chief Executive Officer at Football Transfer Watch, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), who specialise in efficient player transfer monitoring and end-to-end claim management solutions for football clubs around the world.
Academic Information 
- Degree in Law by the University of the Balearic Islands.
- Master in Sports Law. 
- Master in Tax Law. 
- Master in Labour Law. 
- Member of the Madrid Bar Association
- Member of the Spanish Sports Law Association.
- Member of the Esports Bar Association.
- Professor of the LLM Master in International Sports Law at ISDE.
- Professor of the Master in Sports Management  and Legal Skill with FC Barcelona. 
- Member of different Disciplinary Committees in Olympic Federations.
Languages: Spanish, Catalan, English and German.

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