MLS Secondary Transfer Window Now Open.

Miami, Fla. (Tuesday, July 9, 2019) –

The Major League Soccer secondary transfer window opens today, Tuesday, July 9 and runs through August 7, 2019. Clubs are now permitted to register new signings.

Pursuant to FIFA regulations, in order to complete a signing, loan or transfer, an MLS club must request an International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”) from the national association where the player was last registered. For example, a player being transferred from Real Betis to an MLS side would need an ITC issued by the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF). This is known as the International Clearance Process. (See more at kennethrusso.com/fifa-regulations-on-the-transfer-of-players/)

A team may have negotiated and completed a deal prior to the transfer window; receipt of a player’s ITC is required in order to add a player to the official roster and for that player to be eligible to play in competitive matches.

A number of deals have already been completed leading up to the window. Deals completed

Intra-League Trades Also Open

Coinciding with the opening of the transfer window, the trade window within MLS for players once again is open, and runs until August 8th.

As a reminder, trades for non-player assets, including international roster slots, allocation money, allocation order slots and MLS SuperDraft picks, can take place any time and are not restricted by the transfer window periods.

Roster Freeze On The Horizon.

The 2019 Roster Freeze Date is August 30, 2019, at which time clubs must submit their final 30-man roster. Rosters cannot be changed from that date through the day after MLS Cup.

What is the RSTP, and how do training compensation and solidarity payments fit into it?

Miami, Fla. (Wednesday, April 24, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

The FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the “RSTP”) establish rules concerning the status of players, their eligibility to participate in organised soccer, and their transfer between clubs belonging to different member associations across the globe. Two elements spelled out in the RSTP are for a club to be compensated for training and development costs if one of its players signs a contract in another country.

It all begins with the trading of a player (known in the fútbol world of course as a “transfer.”) So typically a club is interested in acquiring a player who is playing for another club (or a player who is under contract with a club desires to move to another club and that other club desires to hire that player.) The players are under contract, and most clubs have a transfer fee, either a hard number written into the contract (usually only for big names like Ronaldo or Messi – you may have heard of the term “release clause”) or (more commonly) the current club has the legal option to negotiate the amount of a transfer fee. Simple enough, eh? Now, if there are training or compensation fees, it gets a bit more complicated.

The essence of the training compensation rules is this: when a player registers as a professional for the first time in a country other than the one where he did his training, the club with which he registers is responsible for paying training compensation to every club that contributed to his training, starting from the season of his 12th birthday through the season of his 21st birthday. Moreover, training compensation is due on a player’s subsequent international transfer through the season of his 23rd birthday to his immediately prior professional club.

The original building of La Masia, FC Barcelona’s world renowned academy. In 2011, La Masia was moved to a new base in Barcelona’s purpose-built training complex, La Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, which is located in the suburban town of Sant Joan Despi. (Photo by YANN BERNAL, AFP/Getty Images)

The basic premise of solidarity payments is that it applies any time that a professional player is transferred (whether on a temporary loan or on a permanent transfer) from a club in one FIFA member association (i.e., a federation) to a club in another federation during the course of his contract, a fee not to exceed five percent of the transfer fee is to be withheld and paid by the club receiving the player proportionally to the club(s) involved in that player’s training during the years between his 12th and 23rd birthdays. Unlike training compensation, which is only paid for players who have not yet reached the end of their age-23 season, solidarity payments continue for the duration of a player’s professional career, any time the player is transferred between federations while under contract and a transfer fee is paid.

For a more in-depth look at these important FIFA regulations, please use the following link to my web page:

Training Compensation And Solidarity Payments

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

UEFA Prepares To Launch OTT streaming platform

UEFA the first of soccer’s six continental governing bodies to operate an OTT service.

Miami, FL (Monday, February 12, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

European soccer’s governing body will launch its own over-the-top (“OTT”) streaming platform in the next six months. Once the platform is launched, it will make UEFA the first of soccer’s six continental governing bodies to operate an OTT service.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin revealed this while speaking with the media after his re-election for a new four-year term as UEFA’s top executive. Čeferin confirmed that the service will initially show women’s and youth soccer matches, as well archive content and behind-the-scenes footage from matches.

However, the prospect of having the UEFA Champions League matches on the platform is unlikely until 2021 at the earliest, given the governing body’s existing contracts with broadcasters around the world.

“By putting respect, hope and solidarity at the heart of our strategy, we will make football more accessible for fans, all fans across the planet,” said Čeferin, speaking at UEFA’s annual congress in Rome. “This is one of the main challenges for the coming years. “This is why I am pleased to announce that UEFA will be launching its OTT platform in the next six months. We are fully aware that a revolution is under way and are in the process of agreeing historic partnerships with the world’s leading companies in this field.”

Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA’s secretary general, added that the service should be available by June, indicating that the governing body will look for ways to include its flagship competitions on the platform when its existing rights deals expire.

“Now, we don’t know what the future will tell,” said Theodoridis. “But, we have to be ready for the future and the creation of this platform will solidify UEFA in this case; and as of 2021, where our current deal, our current rights expire, together with the clubs, we will see the possibility, in certain territories, of having some premium live matches.

“Also, as of 2022, with the national associations, [it will be] the same because we have a difference of one year in the cycle of TV rights between club football and national association football. But together, we will decide where and if we are to include some premium live content.”

The news of UEFA’s initiative to launch an OTT platform first emerged in September, when the organisation’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein told Spanish outlet Palco23 that the governing body wanted to give more airtime to categories which do not benefit from as much exposure as men’s soccer.

In the United States and Canada, popular leagues such as the NBA, the NFL and NHL all have streaming subscription services that show live games. At the same time, television continues to pay higher amounts to acquire rights to show games. With the continued development of connected devices and their growing popularity versus traditional means of viewing, can we simply envision UEFA engaging in direct commercialisation to football fans through exclusive subscriptions, bypassing the intermediaries?


L’UEFA se prépare à lancer sa plateforme de streaming OTT

Miami, FL (lundi, le 12 février 2019) par Kenneth Russo –

UEFA lancera sa propre plate-forme de streaming over-the-top (OTT) au cours des six prochains mois.

Le Président de l’UEFA, Aleksander Čeferin, a confirmé que le service diffusera dans un premier temps les matchs de football pour les femmes et les jeunes, ainsi que le contenu des archives et les images des coulisses des matchs.

Après sa réélection à la tête de l’UEFA la semaine dernière, Aleksander Čeferin a fait quelques annonces stratégiques sur les prochaines années de son mandat.

L’un des principaux objectifs du président de l’UEFA est de rendre le football plus accessible à travers le monde, notamment grâce au numérique.

Toutefois, il est peu probable que l’UEFA Champions League soit disponible sur la plate-forme avant 2021 au plus tôt compte tenu des contrats en vigueur entre l’instance dirigeante et les radiodiffuseurs du monde entier. «En plaçant le respect, l’espoir et la solidarité au cœur de notre stratégie, nous rendrons le football plus accessible aux fans, qu’ils soient fans de la planète», a déclaré Čeferin, lors du congrès annuel de l’UEFA à Rome. «C’est l’un des principaux défis des prochaines années.»

« Je suis heureux de vous annoncer que l’UEFA lancera, dans les six prochains mois, sa plateforme OTT » a déclaré Ceferin depuis Rome. « Une révolution est en marche. Nous en avons pleinement conscience et nouons des partenariats historiques avec les groupes mondiaux leaders du domaine. […] Comme vous le savez, nous avons déjà commencé à aller dans cette direction grâce à un accord de sponsoring avec le groupe Alibaba. Ce partenariat est plus qu’un simple accord de sponsorship. C’est un accord qui ouvre sur de nouveaux horizons, comme la création d’un centre d’excellence sur les nouvelles technologies dans le football ou des projets communs de commerce électronique. » 

Reste à savoir si, à terme, l’offre digitale de l’UEFA proposera les compétitions majeures comme la Champions League, l’Euro ou encore la Ligue des Nations. Surtout, une offre de contenus premium peut-elle être compatible avec la vente de droits TV aux chaînesbusiness qui représente la majorité des revenus de l’UEFA ?

Aux USA, les principales ligues comme la NBA, la NFL ou encore la NHL proposent des abonnements permettant de suivre l’intégralité des rencontres depuis une application. En parallèle, les télévision continuent de payer des montants toujours plus importants pour acquérir quelques matchs. Avec le développement des appareils connectés, peut-on tout simplement envisager que l’UEFA commercialise directement auprès des fans de football des abonnements en exclusivité en se passant d’intermédiaires?

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer