The FIFA "salary reduction" rule is here, how should Chinese professional football clubs face


Lu Wei

l u Wei

Editor's note:


This article is only a personal academic research. The information obtained in the article comes from news reports. The views of the article are only personal immature understandings, and there are irregularities. I hope readers Haihan. Readers are welcome to reprint, but please indicate the source when reprinting to avoid unnecessary legal responsibility.


On April 7th and 7th, 2020, FIFA issued a new regulation titled COVID-19 FOOTBALL REGULATORY ISSUSES. This new regulation involves the imminent termination of the contract and the legal issues of signing a new agreement. Due to the epidemic, the parties cannot comply with the contract. There are four items: performance issues, registration period, other rule modification issues, and contact during the epidemic.


The second part of the regulation, the inability to perform the contract due to the epidemic, elaborated on FIFA's position on how to "cut salaries" for clubs in various countries.


FIFA believes that the outbreak of COVID-19 may result in the inability of both parties to fulfill their contractual obligations. Because players and coaches cannot perform work, and the club cannot provide work. therefore,


At the same time, due to the differences between labor laws and employment policies of various countries, when there is a dispute over the inability to perform contractual obligations due to the epidemic, different judgments may occur in the same case. Therefore, as a manager in the football field,


Taking into account the impact of COVID-19 on the club’s financial distress, to ensure that the club does not go bankrupt, but also to take into account the rights and interests of the basic salary of players and coaches being paid. At the same time, in order to avoid litigation disputes and protect contract stability, FIFA proposed The following suggestions:


(1) Clubs and employees (players and coaches) are strongly encouraged to work together to reach an appropriate collective agreement on employment conditions during any period of suspension of the game due to the COVID-19 incident on the basis of the club or league.


The content of this type of agreement should include, but is not limited to, remuneration (such as deferred payment and/or salary limitation, security mechanisms) and other benefits, government assistance programs, and contract extension conditions. When there are social partners, employment agreements should be reached under the collective negotiation structure or other collective negotiation mechanisms.


(2) The club's unilateral decision to change the agreement can only be considered legal and effective when permitted by the national labor law or collective negotiation structure or other collective agreement mechanism.


(3) If the following situations exist:




The club’s unilateral decision to change the contract performance conditions can only be recognized by the FIFA Dispute Committee (DRC) and the Status Committee (PSC) if it is made in accordance with the principles of rationality and proportionality and based on good faith.


(4) In addition, when the contract between the club and its employees is suspended during any game suspension period, the club should ensure that the employees are provided with corresponding insurance (social insurance or commercial insurance) to protect their basic life or the club during this period It can provide employees with alternative support programs that can guarantee basic living income.


Judging from this new FIFA regulation, FIFA basically recognized the club’s unilateral “salary reduction” for self-help during the epidemic. As long as the club meets the five criteria of the above review, reasonableness and proportionality are taken into consideration. In principle, in the face of arbitration applications submitted by players or coaches, DRC or PSC will consider whether such disputes should be supported.


In fact, domestic clubs have been worrying about the consequences of "salary reduction" for a long time. The main reason is that they are afraid of foreign aid lawsuits to FIFA. The salary of foreign aid accounts for the majority of club expenditures. Moreover, in most cases, domestic clubs face player lawsuits. Lose the case. Now, FIFA has let go, and has appropriately “exempted” the wage reduction between players and the club due to the epidemic. At this time, it depends on the wisdom of the club.


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