Contractual stability in professional football: recommendations for club in a context of international mobility
By Diego F. R. Compaire (Italy/Argentina), Gerardo Planás R.A. (Paraguay) and Stefan-Eric Wildemann (Germany)
Contemporary football is caught between two very powerful concepts: the freedom of movement of players on the one side and contractual stability on the other. As it was shown in this research project, international migration has been part of football from the beginning. The decisions made by the European Court of Justice in relation to the Bosman case in 1995 entailed some large-scale changes in the transfer system of professional footballers.
In particular, players who were EU or EEA nationals could now freely move within the European Union at the end of their contract as any trans fer fees for out-of contract players were declared illegal. Second, the ‘3+2’ rule was abandoned for EU nationals. Certainly, these legal decisions have stimulated the freedom of movement of players. As can be observed from the profile of foreigners in the top 5 European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and Spain), cultural, historic and structural reasons continue to play a vital in the migration patterns of players. For example, whereas African players still constitute a comparatively high percentage of foreign players in France, many South American players are registered in the Italian Serie A and the Spanish Primera División. Another trend which has become visible is the decreasing age of the first international transfer of players. To counteract this development, FIFA has decisively restricted the transfer of minors under Article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
This work was written for and first published on LawInSport.com (unless otherwise stated) and the copyright is owned by LawInSport Ltd. Permission to make digital or hard copies of this work (or part, or abstracts, of it) for personal use provided copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, and provided that all copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page (which should include the URL, company name (LawInSport), article title, author name, date of the publication and date of use) of any copies made. Copyright for components of this work owned by parties other than LawInSport must be honoured.