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Factbox - Survey on the working conditions of professional footballers

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(Reuters) - The world players' union FIFPro has released the findings of a survey which questioned nearly 14,000 professional footballers around the world on their working conditions. The following are some of the key findings:

* Only 40.3 percent earned more than $2,000 per month. Of the rest, 14.5 percent earned between $1,000 and $2.000, 24.6 percent earned between $300 and $1,000 and 20.6 percent earned $300 or less.

At the other end of the scale, less than two percent earn more than $720,000 annually.

* 41 percent said that they had experienced delayed payments at some point in the last two years. Some have had to wait up to one year to be paid.

* The average length of a player's contract is between 22 and 23 months. Contracts tend to be shorter for low earners. The report said that "the large majority of players at the low income end of the pyramid are under constant pressure to secure future employment".

* Of the players whose last move involved a transfer fee, 29 percent said they were forced to change clubs against their will. "For many players, the market powers are stacked against them - low pay, short career, short contracts and a high probability of facing abuse of disrespect of contracts," the survey stated.

* In Serbia, 82 percent of players whose move involved a fee said they were pressured into a transfer by agents or other third parties.

* Eight percent of players said they did not have a written contract with their club, a figure which rose to 15 percent in Africa.

* In some countries, players are largely treated as self-employed workers, denying them of the protections afforded to employees. In Croatia and the Czech Republic, more than 90 percent of players were regarded as self-employed or had a civil law contract rather than a full employment contract.

* Just under 10 percent of players said they had experienced physical violence, not including physical contact during a game, and 16 percent have received threats of violence. Fifteen percent were victims of bullying or harassment and 7.5 percent said they had faced discrimination based on ethnicity, sexuality or religion.

Fans were responsible in 50 percent of the cases of violence, other players were the perpetrators in 27 percent of cases and club management or coaching staff in 23 percent of cases.

(Compiled by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)


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