Squad Size Limits and Recommendations on Contractual Stability unanimously approved
The EPFL has crowned a series of important events that took place this week in Nyon with the approval of significant reforms to protect and further develop the game’s long term interests. In addition to the General Assembly held yesterday, the vast programme of activities comprised the inauguration of the Association’s new headquarters, a friendly match between EPFL and UEFA and an official dinner on Wednesday, during which an homage was rendered to the UEFA President Michel Platini.
Squad Limits of 25 players in all European Leagues as from 2012/13
As from 2012/2013 all EPFL member Leagues will implement a squad size rule for their top level competitions. Approved by unanimity at the EPFL’s General Assembly held yesterday at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, the EPFL Resolution foresees a maximum of 25 registered players per club at any time during the season, excluding under 21 players who shall not be subject to any limitation in an attempt to control inflation of players’ wages and transfer fees and foster youth development and home-grown players.
The EPFL Resolution is consistent with squad make-up in top European Leagues. Accordingly to a study conducted by the “Professional Football Players Observatory” for the EPFL, the average number of players fielded by club during a season corresponds to 23,7 players. Squad size limits are in place in Portugal, Spain, England (Premier League), Italy (Serie B), Norway, Poland and Switzerland, and its advantages are also associated with financial stability is regarded as an important pillar of the UEFA Financial Fair Play concept.
Following this pioneering Resolution, the EPFL will now focus on other related key issues, such as players on loan (whether “loans in” or “loans out”), possible maximum new registrations (within – not in addition to – the limit of 25) in the winter transfer window; and possible maximum number of players under contract per club per season.
Financial Play Fair in progress
The EPFL General Assembly has also provided an fruitful opportunity to further discuss some of the concrete measures that will underpin the UEFA Financial Fair Play system. On the occasion, the Leagues received an update on the work in progress made by UEFA and welcomed the fact that several constructive proposals submitted by the EPFL were duly taken into consideration and accommodated in the latest UEFA draft.
The European Leagues and UEFA will continue to cooperate intensively to achieve the aimed consensus and guarantee a smooth and efficient implementation of the new rules as from the football season 2012/2013.
EPFL calls for contractual stability
The maintenance and protection of contractual stability is clearly a major concern for Leagues and clubs alike, and, in light of the high profile “Webster” and “Matuzalem” cases, has decided to take a strong stance in order improve the manner in which the subject is policed and governed.
The EPFL, the largest employers’ representative body in the Professional Football sector, believes that, in isolation, Art 17 of the FIFA Transfer Regulations is insufficient to provide clubs with adequate safeguard and calls FIFA to reconsider this matter.
Meanwhile, following the organisation of a high level conference on 29 October 2009 in Florence and an ample consultation process, the EPFL General Assembly has approved, by unanimity, a set of general considerations and general recommendations to assist Leagues and Clubs in taking steps to protect themselves in this regard.
FIFA welcomes EPFL’s reformist proposals on Players’ Agents Regulations
FIFA has welcomed the EPFL’s constructive participation in the reform of the players’ agents system and, at the Leagues’ General Assembly, announced that several proposals presented by the EPFL had already been incorporated in the latest draft “FIFA Regulations on working with intermediaries”.
The proposals submitted by the EPFL include:
- Registration of all intermediaries by national association/leagues (of the country of domicile and of any country where they perform their activity);
- Payments either by clubs or players to intermediaries must be done solely to registered intermediaries;
- Payments must be done via national associations/leagues, through a clearing house system (eventually linked to the FIFA Transfer Matching System as regards international transfers);
- Creation of an intermediaries database by national associations/leagues (namely to ensure public knowledge on who represents who) ;
- Disclosure and publication of certain economic aspects of the financial transactions involving intermediaries (e.g. the overall amount of fees paid to the registered intermediaries), safeguarding all confidential aspects, such as their identity; and
- Review the percentage of fees paid to intermediaries
Other proposals submitted by the EPFL, which will be further discussed with FIFA, are related to protection of minors, conflict of interests; subsidiarity; and responsibilities attributed to both players and clubs in this context.
EPFL Standing Committees report on work in progress in various key areas
During the General Assembly, the Chairmen of the EPFL Standing Committees updated the audience about the recent work performed by these advisory bodies, as well as the future activities to be pursued in the following areas: Players’ Transfers and Players’ Agents; Professional Football Finance; Media and Marketing; EU Affairs; Competition Matters; Social Dialogue; Refereeing Matters; Social Responsibility. The next meetings of the EPFL Standing Committees will take place in Nyon, on mid-April, at the new EPFL Headquartes.
New Members From Serbia and Turkey
EPFL reaches 30 Members and Associate Members and elects a new member of the Board
Confirming the decision previously taken by the EPFL Board of Directors, the General Assembly also approved the application for membership and associate membership submitted by the Serbian Professional Football League and by the Turkish Union of Clubs respectively. Confirming its growth trend, the EPFL is now composed by 30 Member Leagues and Associate Members representing almost 1000 professional clubs from all over Europe.
On the occasion, General Assembly also elected Thomas Grimm, President of the Swiss Football League, as new Member of the Board of Directors of the EPFL.
New Board’s Member Thomas GrimmBack to All News