Solidarity Contributions – could your Club be entitled to claim?

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When Fraser Forster transferred from Newcastle United to Celtic in the summer of 2012, this triggered FIFA’s solidarity mechanism which enabled the clubs that had trained and developed him from the season during which he turned 12 years old to claim a small percentage of the transfer fee, which included Wallsend Boys Club.

Steve Dale, Chairman of Wallsend Boys club said “As one of the clubs which had played a part in Fraser’s development, it was pleasing to hear that there was a chance we could benefit from Fraser’s transfer several years after he had left the Boys Club. John Devine and Liz Coley at Muckle talked us through how the Regulations apply to international transfers and then liaised with Newcastle United and Celtic on our behalf. Our claim was successful and we can now use those funds to help more children take part in community football.”

FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the “FIFA Regulations”) state in Article 21:  “If a professional is transferred before the expiry of his contract, any club that has contributed to his education and training shall receive a proportion of the compensation paid to his former club (solidarity contribution).”

In reality, the procedure is slightly more complicated than the Article provides, but in certain circumstances, your club could be entitled to claim for any former players who have turned professional and then transferred internationally (i.e. between football associations of different countries) whilst still under contract for a fee.

The player must be a professional player rather than an amateur at the time of transfer. If he moves internationally whilst still under contract with his English club for a transfer fee, up to 5% of that transfer fee is reserved to compensate all of the clubs (whether amateur or professional) that have trained and developed the player between the seasons of his 12th and 23rd birthdays.

Solidarity contribution is payable throughout the entire career of the player on applicable transfers.

The FIFA Regulations in Annexe 5 set out the proportions of that total solidarity sum which are payable per season that the player is registered with a club. Payments can be made pro rata for registrations of less than a season. If the transfer fee is payable in instalments, the solidarity contribution will be payable on the same instalment dates.

However, a solidarity contribution claim must be made by the former club within 18 months of the player’s transfer.  Claims made after this time will be treated as out of time by FIFA.

Wallsend Boys Club were also able to claim solidarity for the period that Fraser was on loan at Celtic, prior to his permanent transfer, because a fee was payable by Celtic to Newcastle for the period of the loan. Under Article 10.1 of the FIFA Regulations, loans are subject to the same rules as apply to the transfer of players, including the provisions on solidarity mechanism.

The link here will take you to the relevant page of the FIFA website so you can obtain the FIFA Regulations in full.

In addition, FIFA also have a booklet called “Commentary on the Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players” which provides further advice in this respect.  These documents are also available via www.thefa.com.

For more information, help or advice please contact John Devine on 0191 211 7905.