Platini on the topic of TPO: “some players are no longer in control of their own sporting careers”

Platini on the topic of TPO: “some players are no longer in control of their own sporting careers”

In his address to the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress which took place on Thursday 27 March 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan, UEFA President Michel Platini was unequivocal on the topic of third-party ownership (TPO) of players. He said that this is "a problem which particularly worries [him]. I have been constantly warning for years that this practice – which is becoming increasingly widespread – is a danger to our sport. It threatens the integrity of our competitions, damages football's image, poses a long-term threat to clubs' finances and even raises questions about human dignity.

"When I was a player, I went on strike because players belonged to their clubs and therefore failed to enjoy real freedom," Mr Platini said. "Today players are certainly not the property of their clubs, but something worse is happening instead. Increasingly, players are owned by opaque companies based in tax havens and controlled by some unknown agent or investment fund.

"Quite simply, some players are no longer in control of their own sporting careers and are transferred each year to generate revenue for anonymous individuals who just want to get their hands on some of the money in football".


Michel Platini also called on FIFA to outlaw the practice worldwide.

With FIFA president Sepp Blatter sitting in the front row of delegates, Platini said: "If FIFA fails to act, we will address this issue in our own competitions in Europe. The UEFA Executive Committee has already adopted a position on this issue in principle, and we will see this through".

He added: "I do not want to be complicit in these practices, and at the moment I have the nasty feeling that I am".

Finally, turning to the FIFA president, Platini said: "Mr Blatter, you ask things of us, such as solidarity with other continents, and we do as you ask. This time, we have something to ask of you. I want to take advantage of your presence here today to make a solemn request. Please have the political courage to deal with this problem once and for all.

"There comes a time when you have to stop hiding behind committees, sub-committees, studies by expert groups and academic reports.

"The amount of money that vanishes into thin air in a single transfer exceeds the entire annual budget for your global solidarity program, GOAL. Do you realize what that means? Do you consider that normal? I, for one, do not".

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