The implementation of the new FIFA Agent Regulations (FFAR) has not been plain sailing, with various legal challenges to the FFAR being brought across Europe (including the suspension of the FFAR in Germany, which we considered in further detail here).
This has been further complicated by the FA's latest announcement delaying the implementation of the National Football Agent Regulations (NFAR) in England, which is summarised below.
What has the FA announced?
The FA has confirmed that the implementation of the NFAR has been postponed as it awaits the outcome of a legal challenge (brought by various agencies) to certain key elements of the NFAR.
While it was expected that a decision from the Rule K arbitration proceedings would be made by 30 September (24 hours before FIFA had stipulated the new regulations must come into force), the arbitration panel has confirmed that it needs longer, potentially a further 2 months, to make its decision.
What are the consequences of the FA's announcement?
This is a further blow to the credibility of FIFA and its flagship regulations to re-regulate agents – as the FFAR will also not apply in Germany until the outcome of a similar challenge by agents there is determined. As a result, despite the fact that the FFAR were first announced almost a year ago, they will not now be implemented in arguably two of the most important market for agents, England and Germany, in accordance with the advertised timelines.
Nevertheless, this may only be a temporary respite – as ultimately, if the legal challenges go the way of FIFA, as others that have been conclusively decided have already done so, the FFAR could potentially be in place, certainly in the UK, by the time the next transfer window opens. Until such time, it would come as no surprise if agents continue to push for the early renewal contracts for their star players ahead of any potential cap on fees that may ultimately curtail earning potential.
For the time being, this means that the current FA's Working With Intermediaries Regulations will remain in force and govern the regulation of football agents.
If you require any advice on the FIFA Agent Regulations or the NFAR or anything else on how the changes will impact your club or business, please contact Simon Leaf, Oliver Millichap or Tom Murray.