Football Agents have successfully challenged the FIFA's service fee cap

The English arbitration tribunal’s decision has been made: The agents have successfully challenged FIFA's service fee cap.

The decision has yet to be published, so we await all the details. But, it seems the panel decided (amongst other things) that neither (i) the cap on service fees nor (ii) the restriction around payments only being made quarterly, comply with competition law in England. Accordingly, the decision injuncts (prevents) The FA from implementing the cap/payment schedule restrictions in its NFAR.

All eyes will now be on The FA / FIFA, as we wait to see what they do next.

Will The FA implement a pared-back version of the NFAR, with no service fee caps/restrictions on payment schedules? Or will it pause implementation of the NFAR altogether (retaining the current intermediaries system) whilst FIFA reconsiders its approach?

FIFA’s initial reaction may be to position this as just another development in the ongoing saga around the implementation of the FFAR. But it’s a big one – England is the largest football market, financially, in some way.

When added to FIFA’s woes in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and other territories, FIFA’s inability to implement in England the service fee cap (the flagship policy in the FFAR) must surely require a return to the drawing board. Surely?

What does this mean in practice for agents/intermediaries? We need to wait to analyze the decision closely, and we’ll also need to wait and see exactly what The FA chooses to do over the coming days. But the headline news today is that FIFA’s service fee cap will NOT be implemented in England.

Watch this space...

By: Daniel Lowen Linkedin Post