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Changing the game: Dissecting the landmark reforms endorsed by the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee

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Friday, 05 October 2018 By Tiran Gunawardena

On 25 September 2018, the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee (FSCapproved a landmark reform package of the football transfer system[1]. Representatives from the European Club Association (ECA), World Leagues Forum (representing leagues), FIFPro (representing players) as well as member associations, confederations and the FIFA administration approved in principle a set of recommendations aimed at increasing the transparency of the transfer system, protecting its integrity and reinforcing solidarity mechanisms for training clubs (the Recommendations). The Recommendations will be submitted to the FIFA Council for approval at its next meeting on 26 October 2018.  

The Recommendations were a result of months of discussions, investigations and negotiations by the FSC. Part of the considerations undertaken by the FSC – particularly in respect of intermediaries - were the findings of the project, ‘Promoting and Supporting Good Governance in the European Football Agents Industry’,[2]by Professor Richard Parrish, Dr. Andrea Cattaneo, Professor Johan Lindholm, Professor Jürgen Mittag, Professor Carmen Pérez-González and Professor Vanja Smokvina (the Project). In August 2018, the Project published an interim report of their findings on the football agents industry, a copy of which can be found here.

On 27 September 2018, the Project partners held a roundtable discussion event in London attended by representatives of the members of the FSC, as well as various other actors in the football industry (including the author), to discuss the findings in the Project’s interim report as well as the Recommendations (the Project Event).  

This article provides a summary of the key points arising out of the discussions at the Project Event, including:

  • An analysis of the Recommendations, including some background to the Recommendations and a consideration of its potential consequences; 

  • A consideration of the potential problems with the Recommendations; and

  • A brief overview of the reaction to the changes by various football stakeholders, and the next steps.

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Written by

Tiran Gunawardena

Tiran Gunawardena

Tiran Gunawardena is a Principal Associate (Australian Qualified) in the London sports law team at Mills & Reeve LLP. Tiran was selected by Who’s Who Legal: Sports and Entertainment as a leading sports lawyer in the UK in 2020, 2019 and 2018. Tiran is a regulatory sports lawyer specialising in international and domestic sports arbitration, with significant experience with proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and regulatory matters in sport. He is dual qualified as an Australian solicitor and chartered accountant, and holds a Master in International Sports Law from ISDE (Madrid). Tiran is on the Arbitral Board and Disciplinary Committee of the UCI, and is on the Formula One Cost Cap Adjudication Panel. Tiran is also an England Boxing and British Gymnastics Disciplinary Panel member. Prior to working at Mills & Reeve, Tiran spent almost 4 years working in the Corporate Tax and M&A team at PwC Sydney.

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Comments (1)

  • Nilo Effori

    • 09 October 2018 at 16:39
    • #

    Very Good Article. Well done.


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