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Transfer money rewards agents, offers youth little - FIFPro

Club payments to agents increased to a record high to $228 million.

A FIFPro press conference at Hampden Park
A FIFPro press conference at Hampden Park

The share of transfer funds channelled into training young players under a FIFA compensation scheme has hit a record low and is a tiny fraction of rising agents' fees, world players' union FIFPro said on Monday.

FIFPro, which is seeking to abolish the current transfer system, said it had presented the data, compiled by world governing body FIFA but not publicly released, to members of the European Parliament at a Brussels event on Monday.

"The transfer system is rewarding agents far more than football clubs that produce talent," said FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen. "How can this be right? It's critical the system is overhauled."

In 2001 FIFA introduced a system of training compensation for clubs who developed players between 12 and 21 to encourage spending on youth academies.

However, the latest annual report by FIFA's Transfer Matching System that tracks spending, showed that sum last year was only $20.7 million, or 0.5 percent of a record $4.2 billion of players' transfer fees.

That percentage matches the previous record low set in 2012, FIFPro said.

Training compensation is paid to clubs when a player they developed signs his first contract as a professional and on each transfer until the end of the season of his 23rd birthday.

By contrast, clubs' payments to agents increased by 15 percent to a record high $228 million.

Solidarity payments 

FiFPro added that only 1.3 percent of international fees is shared out in "solidarity payments" to the former clubs of players traded for a fee.

The compensation is meant to make up five percent of the fee for players aged 12 to 23 but some clubs are unaware they are due money or do not have the resources to chase the compensation, FIFPro said.

The group added that the transfer system means footballers do not have the same rights as other EU workers, with club directors having control and consistently abusing their dominant positions.

The notion of footballers as millionaires driving fancy cars and living in luxury villas is true for a tiny elite, with only one percent of players getting a chance to earn a decent wage, FIFPro said.

The Dutch-based union has asked the European Commission to explore its arguments that transfer regulations have left thousands of players struggling to get paid on time and prevented smaller clubs from competing to secure talent.

Its challenge would be the biggest to the transfer system since the 1995 Bosman ruling, which paved the way for players in the European Union to move to other clubs at the end of a contract without a transfer fee.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Ken Ferris)

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