FIFPro, the union which represents 65,000 professional footballers around the world, today launches #GameChangers, an initiative aimed at promoting dialogue on a new and more sustainable vision for the game.
The scheme, backed by FIFPro’s member unions worldwide, seeks to address the governance crisis which has undermined the image of professional football.
Despite years of huge revenue growth in the game, the sporting and financial gulf between the richest and poorest clubs and leagues continues to grow.
At the same time, the development of balanced and effective standards of governance in the game has not kept pace with the speed of economic progress.
Twenty years on from the Bosman ruling, FIFPro is committed to tackling the inequalities and injustices that too many players face on a daily basis.
Fraser Wishart, PFA Scotland Chief Executive, said: “The current transfer system was designed to increase the financial stability of clubs and promote contractual stability and solidarity yet players the world over do not have their contracts respected.
“It does seem strange that players need a regulation in order to be free to find new employment when they don’t get paid but this is the reality in some countries. A rule is required saying that a player has the right to terminate without any penalty after 30 days without being paid.
“Although we rarely have this problem in Scotland, as members of FIFPro we are in solidarity with the many colleagues across the globe who work and play football but do not receive their salary at the end of the month.
“Far from wrecking the transfer system #GameChangers will be a positive, giving governing bodies, clubs, leagues and FIFPro representing players a positive opportunity to get round the table and agree a package of measures that will protect and help our game to flourish.”
Theo van Seggelen, Secretary-General of FIFPro, said: “Today our industry is faced with inadequate governance structures which have allowed abusive commercial practices to flourish and failed to protect and be accountable to players, clubs and fans. It is time for change.”
The failings of the current transfer system are the latest symptom of the mismanagement of football by the sport’s ruling bodies.
The transfer system fails in its objective to redistribute income throughout the football pyramid and encourages financial speculation that overlooks the rights of players.
It also leads to damaging side-effects, from third-party ownership of players and trafficking of minors, to speculative buy-outs of clubs to profit from transfer fees.
#GameChangers aims to help players, clubs, fans and other stakeholders to create a more sustainable game for all.
“For far too long, FIFA, national associations and clubs have ignored all these concerns,” added van Seggelen. “#GameChangers is a turning point. It is time for us to act decisively and work together with all stakeholders in developing a bold vision for the future of the game, based on collective agreements between players and the sport’s administrators.
“We need a system that is fairer and which meets the modern needs of the football industry.”
The launch of the #GameChangers initiative is a result of a thorough analysis of the many problems football has faced for years and the industry’s lack of progress in tackling the cause of these problems.
For more information on the #GameChangers initiative, please click here.