17 May 2024 - 4:00 PM


IMAGO | Lassana Diarra and Jose Mourinho at the Champions League 2006/2007.

“Bosman 2.0”: Has Europe’s highest court written the transfer fee’s death sentence?

  • At the end of April the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued an Opinion on the case of former Real Madrid player, Lassana Diarra. If the court acts on it could allow players to walk away from their contracts without penalty.
  • In his opinion Advocate General Szpunar suggested that the FIFA rules which effectively prevented Diarra from finding a new club a decade ago “may prove to be contrary to the European rules on competition and freedom of movement of persons.”
  • Why it matters: The transfer market is a fundamental element of football’s ecosystem. The replacement or abandonment of transfer fees could send shockwaves throughout the game.
  • The perspective: FIFA has long argued that its transfer rules and regulations bring contractual stability to football, but legal experts say that they merely serve as an imperfect redistributive mechanism.

The former Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid footballer Lassana Diarra was playing for Lokomotiv Moscow in 2014 when, as Jan Zglinski, Assistant Professor at LSE Law School, says, “things started to go sour”. After a falling out with the head coach, Lokomotiv tried to reduce the player’s salary. Diarra refused to turn up for training. Here things started to get messy.

“Sporting Charleroi from Belgium wanted to

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