Player Loans Turned Transfers: How Changes To FIFA RSTP Impacted Solidarity Payments
Last Summer, FIFA issued a new decision that has clarified once and for all the application of FIFA’s Solidarity Contribution to national transfers.
A ‘solidarity contribution’ under FIFA’s regulations refers to a monetary contribution that is made by a club buying a player to any club (prior to the seller) that contributed to the player’s education and training. The value of the contribution is calculated as a proportion of the total transfer fee. Prior to 2020, FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) stated that solidarity mechanism only applied when players were transferred between clubs belonging to different national associations. However, in 2020, FIFA extended the application to also include domestic transfers with an ‘international dimension’, which means an involvement of a foreign football club in the player’s education and training (foreign to the two clubs involved in the transfer)
This amendment led to questions about the applicability of solidarity payments to loan deals executed before 2020 that included an obligation on the loanee club to buy the player after the introduction of the 2020 amendment. Specifically, clubs and their advisors have been unsure as to the retrospective applicability of the 2020 amendments to the RSTP
On this very point, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber recently heard a case and provided its reasons for non-applicability of the 2020 amendment of the FIFA RSTP to such deals. This article is going to cover that very case summarizing the facts, the parties’ position and the grounds of FIFA’s Decision.
In the author’s opinion, this case settles and provides the tools to solve the incoming similar legal disputes FIFA will have to deal with in connection with the changes implemented in connection with Solidarity Contribution’s provisions.
This article examines the case, looking at:
- Background to Solidarity Contribution and Impact of RSTP Amendment
- Background of the case
- Filing of legal action before FIFA
- FIFA’s Proposal On Solidarity Contribution To Be Paid To Claimant
- Respondent’s Arguments For Rejecting FIFA’s Proposal Position
- Claimant’s Response To Respondent’s Arguments
- FIFA’s Decision and its Grounds
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- A guide to solidarity payments in football under the FIFA Regulations
Sports Legal Manager, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona S.A.D.
Álvaro is an in-house lawyer at RCD Espanyol de Barcelona S.A.D and is responsible for all sporting legal matters relating to the men's, women's and youth teams.