FIFA and the EU

Whats the big fuss over in the EU. It seems the European Commission is pissed cause the football players don’t have the same right to change jobs/countries that the average Joe or Ulrich do. I was just reading the headlines and its like FIFA and UEFA are engaging in pissin contest while the EU is standing around grumbling.

Doesn’t the EU know that athletes and more importantly athletic clubs aren’t subject to government rules? Well that may not be true, but baseball in the US did get away with being far above the law (unfortunately) for a long time. Now one must admit that being a professional athlete is nothing like the life of the average worker. All professional athletes deserve protection, but trying to rewrite the transfer rules in Europe to make athletes live by rules similar to the ones that govern ordinary workers seems rather foolish. We are talking about highly compensated individuals who work via signing relatively long term contracts for big money. I would think the EU would have more important things to worry about anyway.

I am just an American, so I might be in the dark about the whole thing.


The EU seems to have trapped itself in its own dogma here.

Players are signed up for huge fees, of which the get a percentage, in return for being tied into a contract.

A contracted player may then agree to have it bought out, his club will benefit, the players gains again and so on.

With small clubs the prospect of developing a player in the hope of a big payday is one of the few ways that they can stay solvent.

Huge investments have been made which would be worthless if this legislation was approved. Player wages would probably fall too since no club is going to commit themselves finacially to a player who can walk out after a period of three months.

FIFA had put some proposals to the EU but did not consult the regional governing body EUFA.

This is a bit like the UN deciding on a course of action without bothering to inform the US, such is the power of EUFA.

Result is that FIFA have had to back down, in all liklehood EUFA would have voted to replace all the FIFA officials had it not done so and EUFA could have destroyed that money machine otherwise known as The World Cup with just a memorandum by forbidding European clubs to take part.

I have to say that the EU position is utterly ridiculous, you only have to look at say the armed forces of every EU nation and their contracting of personnel for years at a time to realise that their idea is unworkable. How could you spend a fortune developing and training skilled staff in any industry without some commitment from those same staff.

What I’m saying is that ordinary workers do not have the option of terminating their employment as they wish because of contracts they have signed although the majority of them can resign if they wish.

Can you imagine what teams would do they didn’t have to pay transfer fees? I can see the Manchester Uniteds of the world signing players to one week contracts. Sign the garbage players for the easy matches against teams like Derby County. Sign Figo, Zidane, Romario, and Barthez for the Champions’ League matches.

Getting rid of the current system would completely destroy any semblance of player loyalty or teammates who have experience playing with one another.