Will MLS’ (Contract) Options Remain Open

This article was first posted on March 9, 2018 (on Medium). It has undergone minor edits for clarity. In January 2018, Canadian striker Cyle Larin completed a move from Major League Soccer’s Orlando City to Turkish club Besiktas. Reportedly, Besiktas paid Orlando a transfer fee in the neighborhood of $2.3 million. That was the simple part. The …

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 …

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 …

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 …