GARCIA, B., 2011. The 2001 informal agreement on the international transfer system. European Sports Law and Policy Bulletin, I-2011, pp. 17-29.
The control structures of football have traditionally positioned players at the bottom of the football pyramid (Tomlinson 1983: 173). Clubs must register their players with their respective national FA or league to participate in national championships. They have to follow similar procedures with UEFA if they participate in European competitions. These governing bodies regulate and decide which players can be registered to play in the competitions they organise, thus having a certain amount of power over the players that any given club can hire. Football governing bodies have traditionally adopted two sets of norms to regulate the employment and registration of footballers: transfer systems and nationality quotas (Lanfranchi and Taylor 2001: 218). From the players’ point of view, the most contentious issue of a transfer system is any rule that can be used to prevent a player from moving from one club to another at the end of the contract, for instance if agreement cannot be reached between the buying and selling club about an appropriate ‘transfer fee’. The football transfer system used to favour clubs rather than players, for it allowed clubs to retain a player at the end of the contract when there was no agreement over compensation for a transfer. [...continues]