On the 9th and 10th of November, the European Commission organised a two-day conference on Sports Agents in Brussels at which ECA was represented by a number of representatives.
The conference, the aim of which was to evaluate the current situation concerning the activities of agents and look at possible solutions aimed at overcoming problems identified in the profession, brought together senior EU officials and stakeholder representatives from across the world of football.
EU Sports Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and Member of the European Parliament Ivo Belet re-iterated in key note speeches their clear support to the sports sector to assist them in finding solutions to the problems linked to agent activities stressing the need for sports to self-regulate this area. FIFA Legal Director Marco Villiger also presented FIFA's proposed new rules on agents.
ECA General Secretary Michele Centenaro participated in a panel which included senior representatives from EPFL, FIFPro and EFAA and outlined the views of ECA and its members on the current FIFA proposals to overhaul the existing licensing system in place which all stakeholders agree is not effective in reducing bad-practice within the profession. He stressed the need to introduce simple rules which could be properly enforced at a global level. He also called for transparency in the transactions and a reduction in fees to an acceptable level and re-iterated ECA's stance against all forms of remuneration for agents involved in the transfer of minors. Lastly, he invited the agents to be proactive in the discussions and take responsibility.
Daniel Lorenz Pereira, FC Porto's Legal Director, also represented ECA on a panel outlining possible solutions to overcoming problems. He focused his intervention on three key areas: the need for transparency in all transactions, the protection of minors and the issue of remuneration and fees afforded to agents where a simple rule with universal application should be introduced.
The European Commission is now expected to evaluate the outcome of the two-day conference and look at ways to support the sports sector in combating mal-practice in the agents profession.