New agreement on contract rights for footballers
By Eric van Puyvelde | Friday 20 April 2012
The social partners representing the professional football sector signed, on 20 April, their first agreement setting minimum contract requirements. The agreement was negotiated by the social partners - FIFPro (trade union); EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues) and ECA (European Club Association) - and UEFA, the governing body of European football. It is accompanied by a joint letter where all organisations pledge to implement these new commitments.
The agreement provides that, to ensure that player contracts throughout Europe meet certain minimum standards, contracts must be in writing, they must define the rights and duties of club and player and they must address matters such as salary, health insurance, social security or paid leave. Contracts must also refer to the duty of players to participate in training, to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to comply with disciplinary procedures. Standard contracts will contain provisions on dispute resolution and applicable law.
The Commission said it supports the European social dialogue in the professional football sector and will assist EU social partners in the monitoring and implementation of the autonomous agreement. Speaking at the signing ceremony, László Andor, the commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, welcomed the agreement, saying that “this is a significant achievement for EU-level social dialogue in the professional football sector. It is a first step in offering minimum social standards regarding the form of players’ contracts - especially young players - and we expect it to come into force across the EU, but also beyond, in all 53 UEFA countries”.