ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and senior representatives from UEFA, EPFL and FIFPro gathered in Brussels today for the signing of the Autonomous Agreement regarding the minimum requirements for standard player contracts in professional football.

The signing of the agreement is the result of lengthy negotiations between the EU Social Dialogue Partners.

The EU Social Dialogue is a platform offered by the European Commission for representatives from both employees and employers of a specific industry to discuss and agree on social and labour conditions on a European Union level.

The EU Social Dialogue in professional football was created in 2008. The employers are represented by both ECA and EPFL, while employees are represented by FIFPro Division Europe. Additionally, UEFA were actively involved in the discussions as they will have a role to play with regard to the implementation of the Autonomous Agreement in countries which lack professional leagues and players' union.

The Professional Football Contract Minimum Requirements are a list of contractual clauses which should be included in every professional football player contract across Europe. It aims at creating a standardised employment contract throughout the European Union/UEFA Member Associations and includes provisions, such as:

  • the form of the contract;
  • the obligations of both clubs and players which should be listed in the contract;
  • the inclusion of an Image Right clause in the contract
  • the inclusion of a disciplinary procedure in the contract;
  • a clause on dispute resolution;
  • the inclusion of a clause dealing with the final provisions of a contract such as applicable law, jurisdiction, authoritative language, etc.
  • The focus of implementation of this Agreement is on Eastern European Countries, as in many Western European countries the standard contract used already contains or in certain cases foresees more specified provisions than the minimum requirements.

In the presence of the EU Commissioner responsible for employment, Mr Laszlo Andor, and the EU Commissioner responsible for Sport, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:

     "I am really delighted that an agreement was reached, as its outcome can only be beneficial to European football. The introduction of minimum requirements for standard player contracts is a necessary and indispensable measure for the development and well-being of our game. The minimum requirements will increase the quality of professional contracts across Europe and will lead to increased trust between clubs and players."