The Contractual Dynamics of Team Stability Versus Player Mobility: Who Rules 'The Beautiful Game'?

Simon Gardiner, Roger Welch
2007 Entertainment and Sports Law Journal  
The specific focus of this article is on present and future contractual relations between footballers and their clubs, with an examination of arguments that players should have the 'right' unilaterally to terminate contracts providing compensation is paid to the current club. The article also seeks to make sense of the changing relationship between players and clubs within the cultural and economic transformation in football -particularly with regard to the issues of the traditional
more » ... itional self-regulation of sports governing bodies and the implementation of effective internal governance. The major contentions of the article are that the current transfer system in the domestic leagues should be reformed along the lines of the current FIFA rules; Transfer windows should be abolished and the rules defining what constitutes an unlawful approach to a player should be significantly revised. Finally, resolution of the tensions between self governance and external regulation could be achieved by the application of reflexive regulatory theory to abolish, or at least reform, the transfer system throughout the EU. KEYWORDS Transfer systems -footballers' contracts -sports governance -reflexive law -transfer windows -' tapping-up' 2 The analysis in this article will be at two levels. First, the specific focus will look at present and future contractual relations, with an examination of arguments that players should have the 'right' unilaterally to terminate contracts providing compensation is paid to the current club. Emphasis will be given to the implications of the FIFA transfer rules, which were adopted in
doi:10.16997/eslj.74 fatcat:3kkfm2ezsbeppltsiwoyhocpgy