Contract: Football Player – Club

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At first, it was really easy. You could play for whoever you wanted and for as long as you wanted…

But then came the inevitable: clubs started signing contracts with their best football players to keep them under their helm. But from the beginning of the 19th century on, much has changed. At Fieldoo, football network of players & agents (scouts), we prepared few important things on contracts in football.

The rules are now much more strict, players and clubs have many more contract requirements and – there is much more money involved (check the last paragraph for more info).

Basically, there are two types of players playing the game in organized football associations: amateurs and professionals. FIFA defines professionals as players who have a written contract with a club and are paid more for their footballing activity than the expenses they effectively incur. All other players are considered to be amateurs (some of them are paid for playing, some not).

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Important rules

The more complicated and sough-after status is the professional one. Here are some important rules you should know about when potentially signing a professional contract:

  • a player can only sign a professional contract when he is 15 years old or older; it has to be co-signed by his parents or custodians;
  •  a player who is 18 years old or younger can only sign a contract for a maximum of 3 years;
  • all other contracts are limited to 5 years;
  • the minimum length of a contract is from its effective date until the end of the season;
  • a contract between a professional and a club may only be terminated upon expiry of the term of the contract or by mutual agreement;
  • a contract may be terminated by either party without consequences of any kind (either payment of compensation or imposition of sporting sanctions) where there is just cause;
  • The validity of a contract may not be made subject to a successful medical examination and/or the grant of a work permit.

You can find more detailed information in the FIFA “Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players“. These regulations also explain what (and how) a player (or a club) can do if the other party is violating the contract. We’ll have more on that in one of our next posts, when we will be discussing transfers.

And who are the biggest earners in modern football?

The level of the salary in your contract depends on you and your agent’s (more about the relation player : agent coming soon!) capability to negotiate it and – of course – on how good your playing skills are. At the moment, the highest earning player in the world is (all figures are based on media speculation and after tax) Samuel Eto’o earned almost 440.000 EUR-per-week at Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s move to Paris-Saint-Germain is supposed to bring him around 280.000 EUR-per-week: more than Cristiano Ronaldo (255) and Lionel Messi (230). Take note that football players make a lot of money outside football too.

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