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Why FIFA should reform football's training compensation regulations

Football Training
Friday, 22 November 2019 By Toni Roca, Xavi Fernández

In recent times we have witnessed a genuine revolution in FIFA’s transfer system through the approval of numerous new structural and regulatory reforms, including, most notably, the creation of a clearing house for payment centralization1, the application of solidarity mechanism to domestic transfers with an “international dimension2, limitations on player loans, and the controversial recommendation to cap agent’s commissions3.

Unfortunately, one of the basic pillars of the system has been left in the background and no amendments to its current functioning have been proposed: we refer to training compensation (TC).

The purpose of this article is to explore the problems with the current regulatory framework for TC, especially as it relates to the signing of a players first professional contract. The authors then seek to take advantage of FIFA’s current reformist attitude by proposing possible improvements to the current system, all with the objective of protecting training clubs’ legitimate rights. Specifically we examine:

  • Problems when signing the first professional contract (the definition of 'professional')
    • Who is obliged to determine the players status?
    • The impossibility of knowing when the first professional contract is signed. 
  • Problems with subsequent transfers of a professional player. 
  • Suggestions for improving the system.

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Written by

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.

Xavi Fernández

Xavi Fernández

Xavi is a sports lawyer at Himnus - Football Lawyers. He advises clubs, agents, and sportspersons on matters including transfer and contracting of players, dispute resolution before national and international bodies (FIFA and CAS), sponsorship and image rights, and disciplinary proceedings.
Academic information:
- Degree in Law by the University of Girona
- Master's for Access to the Legal Profession, ISDE Barcelona
- Master's in Sports Management & Legal Skills with FC Barcelona, ISDE Barcelona
Languages spoken:Catalan, Spanish and English

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