Notes on Article 19: In pursuit of a more coherent standard

In late 2021, the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied 15-year-old American David Kelley’s[1] attempt to sign with Fehervar, one of Hungary’s top clubs.  The player had argued he fell within the “not linked to football” exception to Article 19 of FIFA’s RSTP – the rule that, in most cases, prevents clubs from signing foreign …

Notes on Third-Party Influence: Confusion over the Level of Influence Prohibited

The following is another article in my series on third-party influence.  Previous articles in the series can be found, here, here, and here.     Once again, Article 18bis of FIFA’s RSTP forbids a club from entering into any transaction that may allow the counter-club or a third party to influence “in employment and transfer-related matters …

Notes on Third-Party Influence: Trying to Insure the Sell-on Fee

This article is part of a series on FIFA’s enforcement of Article 18bis in its Rules on the Status and Transfer of Players.  This rule forbids a club from entering into any transaction that may allow the counter-club or a third party to influence “in employment and transfer-related matters [the club’s] independence, [their] policies or …

Notes on Third-Party Influence: Penalties vs. Bonuses

There is a subset of third-party influence cases that turn on a confusing distinction between penalty and bonus clauses.  Usually, the debate arises in the context of a loan agreement.  Generally-speaking, one club will loan a player to another, with a provision that increases the fee based on how much the player plays.  In some …

Notes on Third-Party Influence: Consent and Rivals Clauses

FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players include two provisions that restrict third-party influence on clubs: Article 18bis, which limits influence from other clubs, and Article 18ter, which limits influence from outside entities.  Through FIFA’s enforcement, these two rules have matured into a thick body of law – one that covers almost any …

FIFA Lurks Under the Bridge

Two weeks ago, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee punished two French clubs – Angers and Paris FC – for their roles in a so-called “bridge transfer.”  This is a multi-step transaction where clubs arrange for the same player to be transferred twice, over a short time, so they can avoid some rule or regulation.  While clubs have …

FIFA Case Note: Newell’s Old Boys v. Roma

In the summer of 2019, Roma transferred two players to Spartak Moscow for €3 million each.  The first player – well-regarded striker Ezequiel Ponce – was worth at least that much.  But the second – reserve team goalkeeper Andrea Romagnoli – was worth far less.  At the time, Roma owed a sell-on fee to Argentine …

FIFA Case Note: Udinese v. Paris St. Germain

Long-standing precedent from FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber entitles clubs to training compensation for the period they take a player on loan.  But the right to compensation does not arise until the parent club transfers the player to a club in another association.  In other words, the time with the parent club and the time on …

The Wrong Kind of Exceptional: Oscar Bobb’s Uselessly Close Article 19 Case

Article 19 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players remains a tough wall to clear.  Generally, the rule bars clubs from signing foreign players under age 18, except in three limited circumstances.[1]  The most controversial of these is exception (a), which allows the transfer if the player’s parent moved to the new …

Pro/Rel Goes to Court: An Analysis of Miami FC and Kingston Stockade v. FIFA

Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Miami FC and Kingston Stockade’s claim against FIFA, the US Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer for violation of FIFA Article 9, which requires promotion based “principally” on sporting merit. In short, the Panel concluded Article 9 only addressed clubs’ efforts to circumvent formal systems of …