Friday, July 12, 2013

Player Contracts 2013: Safeguarding Youth Key

The safeguarding of young players will become crucial in football, heard delegates at Player Contracts 2013, which took place in London on 11 July. Clubs are likely to target the youth market in order to remain within regulations restraining player spending, such as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations and the FA Premier League’s planned salary controls. However the effectiveness of such regulations is in doubt, as spending on transfers is increasing.

100 delegates from 13 countries heard presentations from FIFA, the FA Premier League, the European Club Association, the Professional Footballers Association and more. Kimberley Morris, of FIFA’s Transfer Matching System, outlined how the number of completed player deals fell by 2%, but the value of the deals increased by 39% in the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012.

Patricia Moyersoen, legal advisor to clubs including AS Monaco (ASM) and Paris Saint-Germain, explained how France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) is currently fighting government plans to tax anyone earning more than €1 million at 75%. Luca Ferrari, legal advisor to Italy’s Serie B, explained its plans for a salary cap.

Ged Roddy, Youth Director of the FA Premier League, explained how the FA Premier League has committed £350 million to invest in youth development from 2012-2015. He outlined how the Elite Player Performance plan is transforming youth development by ranking clubs according to player productivity in order to target investment in youth. Other sessions focussed on contract breaches, insolvency, compensation and cases involving youth players.

Delegates at the event included eight football clubs, two football leagues, two national associations, one international federation, four player organisations, player representation companies, agents and - of course - their numerous legal advisors. "The variety of the topics was very good, as was the quality of the presentations and speakers", said a delegate.

Player Contracts is just one annual conference organised by World Sports Law Report and Cecile Park Conferences. Other events include Sport & Betting and Tackling Doping in Sport. For full details including a full programme for Player Contracts 2013, please visit Player Contracts 2014 will take place on 17 June.

Andy Brown


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