The social partners representing the professional football sector signed their first Agreement setting minimum contract requirements for players in Brussels on 19 April 2012.
The social partners represented by FIFPro (Professional Footballers' Trade Union), EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues), ECA (European Club Association) as well as UEFA, the governing body of European football, have carried out negotiations in the framework of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Professional Football since the Committee was launched by the Commission on 1 July 2008.
The Agreement on minimum contract standards [3 MB] represents the first concrete output of discussions between social partners in this framework. The Agreement aims at ensuring that players' contracts throughout Europe meet certain minimum standards: contracts must be in writing, they must define the rights and duties of clubs and players and they must address matters such as salary, health insurance, social security or paid leave. Contracts must also refer to the duty of players to participate in training, to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to comply with disciplinary procedures. Standard contracts will also contain provisions on dispute resolution and applicable law. The Agreement will be accompanied by a joint letter where all organisations pledge to implement the new commitments. The Agreement covers not only the 27 EU Member States but all 53 national federations which are members of UEFA.
The agreement was signed by Michel Platini (UEFA, President), Frédéric Thiriez (EPFL, President), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (ECA, President) and Philippe Piat (FIFPro Division Europe, President) and their respective General Secretaries in the presence of Commissioner Vassiliou, responsible for sport, and Commissioner Andor, responsible for social dialogue at EU level.
In her speech, Commissioner Vassiliou stressed the importance that the Commission attributes to social dialogue in football, and in sport in general. The Commission recognised in its 2007 White Paper on Sport that social dialogue can contribute to addressing common concerns of sport stakeholders in accordance with EU law. In its 2011 Communication on 'Developing the European Dimension in Sport', the Commission recalled its support for social dialogue in sport and invited social partners to discuss relevant topics in this context.