Vassiliou welcomes agreement on contract rights for footballers
Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has welcomed today's agreement with European football organisations to ensure minimum standards for player contracts. The agreement – the first of its kind in team sports – was signed by Michel Platini on behalf of European football's governing body, UEFA, together with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (President, European Club Association), Frédéric Thiriez (President, European Professional Football Leagues) and Philippe Piat (FIFPro Division Europe, President). The ceremony was hosted by László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, together with Mrs Vassiliou in her capacity as the Commissioner responsible for sport.
For every super-star player on sky-high wages at Europe's most successful clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea or Bayern, there are many more plying their trade in the lower leagues and in smaller countries who receive very modest pay packets and do not enjoy the trappings of a luxury lifestyle.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Vassiliou said: "It [the agreement] represents an important milestone in relations between football stakeholders at EU level, and a step towards further cooperation in the football family. I especially welcome the fact that the Agreement will be implemented not just in the 27 EU Member States, but in all the 53 member associations of UEFA. Its wide territorial coverage will help to ensure that the same rules and standards apply to clubs and players all over Europe."
Commissioner Andor commented: "This is a significant achievement for EU-level social dialogue in the professional football sector. It is a first step in offering minimum social standards regarding the form of players' contracts - especially young players."
President Platini commented: "We got here through a lot of work, good faith and mutual trust. I would like to thank all parties, and especially the European Commission, for providing the framework for this dialogue. Protecting players has been a key priority since I became the president of UEFA."
The minimum requirements agreed today require, for example, that contracts must be in writing, define basic rights and duties of the club and player, address salary, health insurance, social security issues, and contain provisions on dispute resolution.