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SBD Global/December 23, 2013/International Football

FIFPro Has Sights Set On Reforming Football's Transfer Market

FIFPro's "growing influence has them in bullish mood," and now they have "their sights set on reforming soccer's transfer market," according to Graham Ruthven of SPORTS ON EARTH. FIFPro plans "to mount a legal challenge against the sport's current transfer market, claiming that players are 'shackled' to their clubs under the existing system." The specifics of the proposed reformation "are unknown at this point, but a successful challenge would trigger a revolution in the way players are bought and sold between clubs." One potential result "could be an increase in the number of free transfers, something that would give players significantly more freedom." At the center of FIFPro's challenge "is the fundamental conviction that the current market is at odds with European Union policy." Do teams "really have a right to buy and sell players (essentially workers) in the first place?" The EU "recognizes that sport is a special case when it comes to comparisons with other industries but more can certainly be done to safeguard the rights of players." FIFPro President Philippe Piat said, "Football players are workers and only when they are able to enjoy the rights enshrined in law and enjoyed by all other workers will FIFPro be satisfied." Piat "has made clear that he sees the reformation of the transfer market as his priority because of the many problems soccer faces with the system" (SPORTS ON EARTH, 12/22).
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