(Reuters) - The record 222 million-euro ($263 million) fee Paris St Germain is paying to acquire Neymar from Barcelona shows just how wrong the transfer system is, world players’ union FIFPro said on Friday.
FIFPro is lobbying the European Union to ban transfer fees which it says concentrates power in the hands of a few mega-rich clubs, to the detriment of most players and the sport itself.
“The world record transfer of Brazilian Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain is the latest example of how football is ever more the domain of a select group of rich, mostly European-based clubs,” FIFPro General Secretary Theo van Seggelen said in a statement.
FIFPro says the dominant clubs entrench their position in the market by inflating transfer fees and therefore creating barriers against other clubs to compete with them.
“Football’s enormous wealth is trapped, research shows, within a few leagues and clubs when it could be redistributed more efficiently and fairly to help protect competitive balance,” Van Seggelen said.
“The transfer rules governed by FIFA are anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal,” he said, adding that changes were needed “in order to protect the rights of players as workers and safeguard the best interests of the game.”
Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Robin Pomeroy