In the middle of the turmoil caused by new coronavirus pandemic, FIFA is faced with “an unprecedented situation for football” and, therefore, the body chaired by the Italian-Swiss Gianni Infantino is preparing to “provide guidelines and recommendations” to national associations “in order to mitigate the consequences interruptions caused by covid-19 and to ensure that any response is harmonized in the common interest ”. Among the “proposals” that are on the table, we highlight the “incentive” to “work together” between clubs and employees (players and coaches) to establish “an agreement to postpone and / or reduce wages ”And the adjustment of the start and end dates for the purposes of the employment contract.
In an internal and confidential document, to which the PUBLIC had access, and which should be discussed by the end of this week by a working group composed of representatives from FIFA, the six continental confederations, national federations, clubs, leagues and players, it is said that “among many different issues, there are three main issues that need to be addressed”: “Expired contracts (ie at the end of the current season) and new contracts (ie already signed to start at the beginning of the next season) ); contracts frustrated as a result of covid-19; and the appropriate time for registration periods (transfer windows). ”
From the outside, there is the discussion about “when football should start again in each country”, since FIFA considers that “it is not the appropriate body to instruct the associations”. “This decision must be taken by each federation, following the opinion of the respective national public health authorities. Health should always be the guiding principle of FIFA, its federations and stakeholders when making decisions in that specific context. ”
Thus, in the first point of the document, recommendations are given on expired and new agreements. Here, FIFA begins by proposing that “when a contract expires on the original end date of a season, that term will be extended until the new end date of the season” and, consequently, “when a contract starts on the original start date of a season new season, that start will be postponed until the new start date of a new season ”. In the event of overlapping dates, and "unless all parties agree otherwise", priority will be given to the ex-club to conclude the season with its original squad, in order to safeguard the integrity of a national championship ".
Suspension of contracts, an "alternative"
In a second point, “to guarantee some form of payment of salary to the players and coaches, to avoid litigation, to protect the contractual stability, to guarantee that the clubs do not go bankrupt”, the proposal of FIFA is that “clubs and employees (players and coaches ) should be encouraged to work together to reach an agreement on postponement and / or reduction of wages by a reasonable amount for any period of interruption of work ”.
As an “alternative”, FIFA proceeds with the suspension “of all agreements between clubs and employees” during “any interruption of work (that is, suspension of football activities), provided that suitable alternatives to support salary are found for employees during the period in question ”. Here, it is also recommended to use the newly created Fund for Professional Players to help alleviate the difficulties of the clubs.
The third point refers to “the transfer windows, fixed at the end and beginning of the seasons”. In this regard, the working group suggests that “all requests to extend or change the registration periods already started should be approved, as long as their duration meets the maximum limit (16 weeks) set out in FIFA's player transfer regulations” .
Finally, on a final point, in which “other regulatory or legal matters” are addressed, highlight “payments by transfer between clubs” that were “scheduled for the start and end dates” of the championships, which “should also be postponed until the new start date of a season or its first registration period ”.