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Friday, 8th February 2013

Europe: The Economic and Legal Aspects of Transfers of Players

Source: European Commission

From Press Release:

Football clubs spend around €3 billion a year on player transfers, but very little of this money trickles down to smaller clubs or the amateur game, according to a European Commission study published today. The number of transfers in European football more than tripled in the period 1995-2011, while the amounts spent by clubs on transfer fees increased seven-fold. But most of the big spending is concentrated on a small number of clubs which have the largest revenues or are backed by very wealthy investors. The situation is only increasing the imbalances that exist between the haves and have-nots, as less than 2% of transfer fees filter down to smaller clubs and amateur sport which are essential for developing new talent. The level of redistribution of money in the game, which should compensate for the costs of training and educating young players, is insufficient to allow smaller clubs to develop and to break the strangle-hold that the biggest clubs continue to have on the sport's competitions....

Transfer rules are set by the sport governing bodies - for example, FIFA for football and FIBA for basketball. FIFA's online Transfer Matching System (TMS), which is used by 4600 clubs worldwide, has increased transparency in international transfer operations but more needs to be done at national level. The report finds that the current system continues to mostly benefit the wealthiest clubs, superstar players and their agents.

+ Press Release

+ Full Report (PDF; 11.3 MB)

+ Executive Summary (PDF; 305 KB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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