FIFPro has branded the current football transfer system as “anti-competitive and illegal” after confirming legal action against FIFA.
Secretary general Theo van Seggelen confirmed late on Thursday that FIFPro, the union responsible for players across the globe, would be launching action against the current system in what he branded “an historic moment for football”.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Van Seggelen has accused FIFA of overseeing a transfer market that thwarts a level playing field among clubs and has been “tricking” football fans the world over.
“The important message is that FIFPro today has filed a legal action against FIFA, challenging the global transfer market system as being anti-competitive and illegal,” he said.
“FIFPro has asked the European Commission to explore the argument that the transfer market prevents clubs from competing and harming players.
“The transfer system fuels and sustains increasing competitive and financial imbalance, invites commercial abuse by third parties, owners, agents, and fails to protect players against abuses of their labour contracts via systematic non-payments.
“The policy of clubs asking for highly inflated transfer fees will be looked at. This creates a huge barrier for clubs.
“The current system does not at all promote financial solidarity.
“From an economic perspective, elite clubs use the market to let fees escalate in order to maintain high barriers for other clubs to enter.
“We need not fear football without a transfer system. As we all know, a lot of political leaders after [Jean-Marc] Bosman said he was the one who is responsible for failure of the system.
“We think that through collective bargaining, better labour market rules can be established.
“We are responsible to safeguard the future of football. We have a duty to ensure jobs are secured for players, contracts are respected, and clubs are financially viable to compete rather than just make up the numbers.
“Hundreds of millions of football fans have been tricked by the irresponsible market.”