The International Federation on Wednesday approved measures to cap agent fees from the 2020-2021 season and limit player lending to foreign clubs.
This is a project that has gone a long way. Launched in 2017 by the International Football Federation (FIFA), at the initiative of its president, Giannin Infantino, the reflection on the reorganization of the transfer market passed a milestone on Wednesday 25 September. The institution has approved a set of rules governing players' movements with the stated objective of fighting against a market "Dictated by speculation".
For FIFA, the current regulatory framework for "Produces undesirable results", the market being "Dictated by speculation and not by solidarity"according to a confidential document consulted by AFP.
The principles of this reform will be submitted for approval at the next FIFA Council meeting on 24 October in Shanghai, China, before being included in the FIFA regulations for the 2020-2021 season.
- Capping of commissions
In the face of the inflation of the commissions affected by certain agents, the Commission 'Partners' FIFA has decided to cap at 6% the commission of an agent on the total amount of the salary contracted by the player.
This commission can go up to 10% paid by the seller club for an agent who negotiated the transfer agreement with the club that hires.
To better regulate these commissions will be paid to a clearing house created by FIFA before being paid to agents. This chamber will also be responsible for passing on to clubs the training allowances of transferred players.
- Reinstatement of an agent's license and increase of the allowance paid to the training clubs
FIFA will also reinstate an agent license issued by each federation. The compensation paid to the clubs by the clubs that recruit a player will be increased.
"Some measures may not please some agents, but there was consensus on these measures and more than a year of discussions"a FIFA official told a few media outlets at the Zurich headquarters. "This is an important step towards moralizing transfers", he added.
- Limitation of the number of player loans
The number of players loaned by a club to clubs located in another country will be limited to 8, and this, from the next season (2020-2021). The rule applies to players over the age of 21. Up to 21 years, the number of loans is unlimited. This figure will fall to 7 from 2021/22 and to 6 from 2022/23.
Many clubs, "Especially those from the Big 5 championships, accumulate players" in the form of loans, in particular to weaken competition, deplores FIFA. In the viewfinder, clubs like Chelsea or Juventus.
Over the period 2011-2017, "The record for the number of players lent by one and the same club has risen to 146 while the club ranked 20th in this ranking has placed + 61 players with other teams", says the confidential document of FIFA.
According to the 2018 White Paper, cited in this document, "The deregulated use of the loan mechanism allows some clubs to significantly increase their sporting value, especially when they have a close relationship with a large club regularly lending them players. The results of the competitions are therefore distorted..
"The principle of this reform is good because we must limit the loans, but the devil is in the details, we must see how it will be applied and that positive things do not become negative", reacted for AFP Philippe Piat, president of Fifpro, the union players, who attended this meeting. "Regulators must be trusted to see if the principles enacted are not overused", he added.