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EU blows whistle on inflated transfer fees and strikes for level playing field

Monday, 11th February, 2013 9:34am
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EU blows whistle on inflated transfer fees and strikes for level playing field

Sean Kelly MEP

Former GAA President and Executive Chairman of the Irish Institute for Sport, Sean Kelly MEP, has welcomed moves by the European Commission to improve fair and balanced competition in sport and fairer funding for development in sport through a more equitable distribution of income between clubs across Europe.

Speaking in reaction to the publication of a European Commission report into the profession sport transfer market, Mr Kelly, an active member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education which encompasses sport, said: ‘I warmly welcome moves by the European Commission to address the unfair imbalances that currently exist in sport organisations in Europe.

'The current arrangements whereby most of the money in sporting organisations is funnelled towards the few so-called superstars at the top has led to a very unequal distribution of sports funding, and the shutting out of most clubs across the continent from competing at the highest levels.

‘The figures are striking, €3 billion is spent every year on transfers in professional football in Europe, with only approximately 3% of that or €60 million filtering down towards the smaller and amateur clubs for the development of the sport and talent for the future.

‘The proposal being floated is to have a 'fair play levy' on these exorbitant transfer fees would help smaller clubs and grassroots threefold: compensating them for the costs of training and educating young players, funding development of sport at community and grassroot level, as well as helping clubs to compete on a more level playing field

‘Sport should never be about money, wages, or personal gain, but teamwork, determination, and fair play. I welcome this move which is good for all sport in Europe designed as it is to boost sport at the grassroots and community level,’ Mr Kelly concluded.