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The Football Labour Market: Third Party Player Ownership Daniel Geey Solicitor in the Sports Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP 30 October 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The Football Labour Market: Third Party Player Ownership Daniel Geey Solicitor in the Sports Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP 30 October 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Football Labour Market: Third Party Player Ownership Daniel Geey Solicitor in the Sports Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP 30 October 2012

2 Introduction About Me I have provided advice, briefings and presentations on a whole raft of football related issues including: football takeovers; the Premier League, Football League, Football Association, UEFA and FIFA rules; dual ownership prohibitions; third party ownership of football player issues; UEFA and Football League Financial Fair Play; advice on football broadcasting deals, tenders and distribution channels; and transfer disputes.

3 Context Regulation of the football labour market: types of intervention TPO restrictions UEFA Home Grown Players Rule Transfer Window Transfer Fees/Training compensation Where does TPO fit into how national/European/world governing bodies regulate their sport? Sports labour markets different. Stability of contract, huge transfer fees, restrictions on spending (FFP)

4 Where a football club does not own, or is not entitled to, 100% of the future transfer value of a player that is registered to play for that team Companies, businesses and/or individuals provide football clubs or players with money in return for owning a percentage of a players future transfer value. This transfer value is also commonly referred to as a players economic rights. There are instances where entities will act as speculators by purchasing a percentage share in a player directly from a club in return for a lump sum that the club can then use as it wishes. The Basics

5 Regulatory Background: Summary of Current Premier League, Football Association, Football League, FIFA and UEFA Rules 1.FIFA, UEFA, PL, FL and FA rules ensure that: no entity can influence any clubs autonomy to make decisions. These rules are governed by a generic material influence clause E.g. FA Rule C 1 (b) (iii): No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any party to that contract to acquire the ability materially to influence the Clubs policies or the performance of its teams in Matches and/or Competitions. This Rule shall be applied in conjunction with any regulations governing Third Party Investment in Players as may be adopted by The Association from time to time. 2.PL, FL and FA rules ensure that: no entity when a player is registered with any of the organisations can own the economic rights of a player bar the club. Any economic rights have to be extinguished upon registration and transfer into the relevant club association. E.g. PL rule L37 In respect of a player whom it applies to register as a Contract Player, a Club is permitted to make a payment to buy out the interest of a person or entity who, not being a Club or club, nevertheless has an agreement either with the club with which the player is registered, or with the player, granting it the right to receive money from a new Club or club for which that player becomes registered.

6 Past PL Rules, Tevez and Faurlin The PL agreed to change its rules in the summer of There was no express clause prohibiting third party ownership; only the act of influencing a clubs policies or performance was forbidden. This rule was cited against West Ham in the Tevez tribunal and arbitration decisions. Tevezs third party contract contained a clause giving exclusive power to the third party owner to facilitate the transfer of the player. West Ham did not have a veto over this right and such a stipulation breached the PL Rules. If there had been a veto right exercisable by West Ham, it is likely there would have been no breach. Faurlin: No breach as TPO suspended and confusion as to implementation date of FA TPO rules.

7 UEFA Financial Fair Play Link PL clubs are likely to be at a disadvantage in UEFA competitions, due to rules banning any TPPO. Clubs in other jurisdictions can split the transfer cost with third party companies; and When non-PL clubs submit their accounts for FFPR scrutiny, non-PL clubs transfer amortisation costs have the potential to be lower. This makes compliance with the FFPR more difficult for PL clubs.

8 Questions Could a third party owner buy a right in a player transferred out of the PL? Could the rules be challenged by third party rights owners? What is the difference between a sell-on clause entitling a club to e.g. 10% of any future transfer fee and a third party agreement entitling the third party to 10% of any future transfer fee (so long as the third party cannot impose any decision making ability on the selling club)? Conflicts of interest- ownership of clubs and players

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10 Further Materials Articles european-wide-list-of-interests/http://www.danielgeey.com/third-party-player-ownership-does-uefa-need-a- european-wide-list-of-interests/ Third Party Ownership YouTube Explanation Twitter: Website:


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