Overdue payments are normally caused by negligence, liquidity problems or because a club wishes to enforce a termination. Whatever the reason is when a player’s contract meet’s the minimum requirements as described in Your first goal: A solid contract' he should start a salary collection procedure a.s.a.p.
- Competence of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (“DRC”)
- Check your contract for the due date
- Send the notice of default
- File a petition
- The decision
- Enforcement of a decision
- Costs of the debt collection/DRC procedure
- Do not sign a termination contract
Competence of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (“DRC”)
In this article we will only describe the DRC procedure.
The DRC procedure is not open to players who have an employment contract with:
- a domestic club in their home country or
a foreign club but have explicitly agreed in writing with the club to submit disputes to:
a specific national arbitration tribunal that has been established at a national level within the framework of:
- the national football association or
- a collective bargaining agreement
and the tribunal guarantees fair proceedings and respect the principle of equal representation of players and clubs. 1
ad. 1 In the event the player has a domestic dispute he is advised to consult a domestic specialist in labour and sports law. A few of these specialist are listed here.
ad. 2 In all cases with an international dimension the DRC itself will decide whether or not to accept competence on a case by case basis. It will check the validity of the arbitration clause and if the chosen arbitration panel meets the requirements of guaranteed fair proceedings and equal representation.
So unless the player has a contract with a club in his home country he has nothing to loose when he starts the DRC procedure. Worst case scenario is that the DRC doesn’t accept competence and that the player has to pursue debt collection via judicial bodies in his home country.
So let’s get started.
Check your contract for the due date
Dig up the contract and check it for the correct due dates. Do not ignore the grace periods.
Send the notice of default
When 30 days have passed since the due date a notice of default has to be send to the club in which it is requested to pay the amount due within at minimum ten days.2
You have no clue how to draft a notice of default? Theplayeragent.com offers free assistance to all full members. Just contact email@example.com for help.
File a petition
The time offered in the default notice of at least ten days has passed but no money has arrived. Now it is time to get serious. A petition has to be filed. The petition is a request to the DRC issue the decision that the club must pay the amounts due.
A petition should not be filed later than 2 years after the due date.
In procedures it is not about being right but to be proved right. It’s is not a procedural requirement but do the smart thing and make use of an experienced sports law specialist. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
The period between a due date and a decision is at minimum 12 weeks and in many cases it will take longer to obtain a decision. Every player should keep this in mind and not waste time contemplating whether or not to undertake debt collection action.
In the event the DRC awards the claim it usually means that the club is ordered to pay within 30 days
- the awarded amount and
- an interest of 5% over the amount due per due date.
Enforcement of a decision
When the club doesn’t appeal the decision it is enforced by the FIFA with or without the help of the football association where the club is member. The threat of sanctions such as a transfer ban, point deduction, relegation and/or a fine usually do the trick.4 Unless a club ceases to exist the player will receive his money given that it might take some time.
Costs of the debt collection/DRC procedure
Costs related to the debt collection can be divided
- in the arbitration costs of the DRC and
- all other costs such as costs of a legal adviser and other costs incurred.
The DRC doesn’t charge for the procedure. It’s one of the few free of charge services they offer.5
All other costs have to be paid by the player and will not have to be compensated by the club. This is regular jurisprudence of the DRC.
Do not sign a termination contract
When non payment is not a result of liquidity problems it is often a tool used by clubs in combination with other harassment measures to coerce a player into signing a termination agreement. Such an agreement is seldom favorable for a player and only has one goal: getting rid of the player as cheap as possible. The player who doesn’t bend will gain the most.
It is advised that a player does not enter into a termination agreement without having consulted a legal adviser!
More about termination agreements in the third an last part of ‘Scoring money’ because in event of termination there is one more goal to score: a compensation for breach or premarture termination of the contract
- art. 22 lit b) FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players ↩
- art. 12bis par. 3 FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players ↩
- art. 12bis par. 4 lit. c) FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players ↩
- art. 64 par. 1 lit. a) & lit. c) FIFA Disciplinary code ↩
- art. 18 par. 2 FIFA Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber, art. 25 par. 2 FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players ↩