The Football Association have delayed the proposed introduction of FIFA’s new agent regulations which were due to be implemented on October 1.
The new worldwide regulations see a number of changes being brought into the game, namely the representation of players by family members, the representation of more than one party on a deal and the caping of fees that an agent can be paid on any deal. Agents will also need to sit an exam to obtain a licence that will be required to be able to work on any transfer in the world.
However, the FA have now been forced to delay their plans to adopt the new FIFA rules after leading British-based agencies CAA Base, Wasserman, Stellar and ARETE launched proceedings to challenge the introduction of the new regulations.
A tribunal is hearing the case, but a decision is not expected until the end of November and the FA have now agreed to wait on this decision.
An FA statement confirmed: “The FA agrees that the implementation date of the National Football Agent Regulations (to the extent upheld by the Tribunal) will be delayed until the earlier of (a) 30 November 2023 or (b) the handing-down of the Tribunal’s award.
“Until such time, The FA’s Working With Intermediaries Regulations will remain in force. The FA will provide an update following its receipt of the Tribunal’s decision.”
90min spoke to leading sports lawyer and partner at Leathes Prior, Dan Chapman, about the issues surrounding the new regulations.
“It is hard to think of any other industry where the participants would be told that they were to be subject to an entirely new set of Regulations from 1 October 2023 but not actually be provided with a copy of those Regulations, which has been the case for UK football agents,” Chapman explained.
“That on 27 September they are told that the new Regulations will not be coming in to force on 1 October 2023 is not a huge surprise, given it is hard to comply with Regulations that you have not seen.
“The delay is welcome, though it would be naïve to think that this will in itself solve the complex and ongoing dispute in the industry. It is also regrettable that this delay was not announced sooner, as the state of flux which agencies have been left in during recent times was patently unreasonable.
“In fairness to the Football Association [and other member associations] were left in a very difficult position by the approach taken by FIFA to the roll-out of the new agency regime, which has prompted worldwide litigation and confusion.”
And it is not just in England that agents are fighting the proposed new regulations.
The European Football Agents Association had their challenge go against them in a trial in the Netherlands, whilst the Professional Football Agents Association saw their case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed but in Germany a temporary injunction was granted pending a European Court of Justice ruling.