BRUSSELS: World players’ chairman Philippe Piat has attacked the transfer system as encouraging a monopoly by Europe’s richest clubs writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Piat, today in the Belgian capital, was explaining the reasoning behind FIFPro’s complaint to the European Commission’s competition department.
Talk within the ‘football family’ to resolve the issue has proved fruitless. The game’s political leaders, he suggested, were interested only in maintaining the status quo.
Piat also blamed the European Commission to failing in its duty to call FIFA to order over rules, agreed in 2001, but which were not working effectively.
He said: “The European Commission should ensure that all rules are respected but this is not the case. We want to ensure all this is modified. We have great concerns about the financial bubble which could burst burst soon in the football transfer system.
“There is no solidarity between clubs. Often clubs say the transfer system is necessary because the money of the rich will filter down but that is not the case.
“Some 67pc of the money paid in transfer fees by large clubs goes back to just a few clubs at the top so the money stays among the elite and only a little amount filters down to the little clubs.
“Some stars are incredibly wealthy but in small clubs and small countries there is almost slavery . . . FIFPro would like to make the system much more equable.”
Theo Van Seggelen, FIFPro’s secretary-general, insisted there was no reason for the game to fear “football without the transfer system.”
He added: “We think that through collective bargaining better labour market rules can be established which will balance the needs of clubs with a fairer model of financial distribution. Players have health of the game at heart and will act responsibly.
“We have a duty to ensure jobs are secured for players, contracts are respected and all clubs can compete – rather than just make up the numbers.
“This is for the benefit of all – not only players but clubs and fans betrayed by the irresponsibility of the transfer market.”
The FIFPro action, which has been two years in preparation, was a matter of regret with Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European federation UEFA.
Infantino, speaking after a UEFA executive committee meeting in Malta, said: “We believe solutions can be found by football people outside of the courts which probably have more important matters to deal with.”