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FIFPro targets end of transfer fees

FIFPro – the global football players’ union – wants to overhaul the transfer system and will take its case to the European Commission on Friday.

In a move that could revolutionise football in much the same way the Bosman ruling did in 1995, FIFPro wants to outlaw transfer fees, cap fees paid to agents, limit squad sizes and abolish the loan system.

According to FIFPro secretary-general Theo van Seggelen, the players’ union has been forced to take legal action because FIFA and UEFA are not interested in reform.

FIFPro claims to represent over 65,000 footballers and has 58 national players’ unions as members.

“Whatever happens, it is a historical moment not only for FIFPro but for professional football,” he told the Guardian on Thursday.

“We were responsible for Bosman, we were responsible for the declaration of objectives in 2001. We thought we had a good position then but we were tackled from behind.

“We’ve tried to solve this problem internally with FIFA and UEFA but I am 100 per cent convinced that they have left us with no choice. I have been used to negotiating my whole career, with FIFPro and the Dutch union. But it has come to an end.”

Van Seggelen insists Europe’s big clubs will not be hurt by their proposed changes but that smaller leagues and clubs could benefit significantly.

The big losers, according to FIFPro, will be agents.

“If the agents are going to decide where a player is going to play because a club will give him €20million, that is a problem we have to tackle,” Van Seggelen said.

“That is why we have to put restrictions on the intermediary fees. Otherwise you will create another problem. We have already thought about that.

“You have to think about squad size limits – you can’t have a Manchester City squad with 60 players – and we have to forbid the loan system. It’s logical. And get rid of the agent fees. Those are the points we have to think about.”

Van Seggelen added: “Without a transfer system, the best players will still play at the best clubs.”

FIFPro is set to lodge its claim with the European Commission in Brussels on Friday at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT).

Fri 18 Sep, 2015
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