Football bosses call for transfer reform: Make football fairer

ASSOCIATED PRESS
NYON
Published 21.09.2017 23:48
Updated 21.09.2017 23:49
Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for an eye-popping world record $261 million has set a new benchmark.
Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for an eye-popping world record $261 million has set a new benchmark.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino have urged politicians to help them bring key changes to the current transfer system after Europe's biggest clubs went on yet another record-breaking spending spree this summer

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin challenged European lawmakers to help make the business of football fairer. In a speech to leaders of Europe's 55 national football bodies, Ceferin cited German Chancellor Angela Merkel among politicians who have criticized the sport's finances after a record offseason spending by wealthy clubs.

"To all European politicians, let me say that we cannot agree more," the UEFA president said. "But I cannot say that you have done much to help us set things straight so far.

"We are imaginative and committed, and we are just waiting for the green light from those who publicly condemn the current situation but have yet to enable us to put it right,"

Ceferin told that an overhaul was needed after Neymar moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record 222 million euros (266 million dollars), and 3.93 billion euros were spent overall between June 1 and September 1, more than in the entire year 2016.

UEFA has set "competitive balance" among teams in its competitions as a priority. The Champions League is now seen as weighted too heavily toward the top-five wealthiest national leagues who dominate the entry lists and prize money shares.

"We are not naive to think Maribor can beat Real Madrid next year," Ceferin, a lawyer from Slovenia, said later at a news conference at UEFA headquarters in nearby Nyon.

Still, labor and business laws enforced by the European Union prevent many of the "whole arsenal of concrete measures" that Ceferin identified as potential policies to slow down a widening gap between richer clubs and the rest.

They included salary caps, luxury tax, enforced squad limits, transfer reform, a clearing house to control money flows, limiting player agent fees, solidarity tax on transfers to fund women's football, limiting loans of players, and preventing ownership of more than one club.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters in a briefing that European lawmakers would be "well advised" to listen to a fresh approach from football leaders. Infantino, a former UEFA general secretary who has experience of working within EU laws, said FIFA's stakeholder committee - including members drawn from clubs, leagues and players' unions worldwide - would be asked to discuss ideas for change. The panel next meets Oct. 19 in Zurich. Spiraling commission fees to agents also created a problem that FIFA could tackle within its rules.

In decisions by UEFA's executive committee:

*The 2019 Super Cup game - played between the two cup winners - was awarded to the Beşiktaş's Vodafone Park in Istanbul on Aug. 14, 2019.

*Atletico Madrid's new home, the 68,000-capacity Metropolitano Stadium, will host the 2019 Champions League final.

*The Metropolitano was chosen ahead of the Olympic Stadium in Baku, which was rewarded with hosting the Europa League final.

*The two finals will now be played in the same week: the Europa League on Wednesday, May 29, and the Champions League on Saturday, June 1.

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