Sacramento, California-based attorney and lobbyist, Joshua Golka, posts very infrequently on his “Golka’s Athlete Agent Regulation Blog”, but when he does put fingers to keyboard, he tends to offer up worthwhile nuggets of information. One of his recent posts concerns the European Parliament’s call for the licensing and registration of sports agents. The topic particularly interests me since I only recently concluded drafting a paper titled, Football v. Football: A Comparison of Agent Regulation in France’s Ligue 1 and the National Football League, which will be published in the 2012 issue of Pace University School of Law I.P., Sports and Entertainment Forum.
According to Golka, a new resolution passed by the European Parliament tasks the European Commission with implementing a system to license and regulate sports agents. Golka scrapped the sections of the legislation dedicated specifically to the governing of sports agents:
AO. whereas the regulation of players’ agents requires concerted action between sports governing bodies and public authorities so that effective sanctions can be imposed against agents and/or intermediaries who break the rules;
75. Considers that the profession of sports agents should be a regulated professional activity, and subject to an adequate official qualification and that sports agents’ fiscal residence should be within EU territory in the interest of transparency; calls on the Commission to draw up and implement, in cooperation with the sports federations, players’ unions and agents’ associations, a European licensing and registration system accompanied by a code of conduct and a sanctioning mechanism;
76. Proposes the setting up by sports federations of a non-public European register of sports agents, in which agents would list the names of the players that they represent, so as to protect athletes, in particular those below the age of 18 so as to limit the risk of conflicts of interest; takes the view that the payment of agents’ fees for transfers should be made in a number of instalments throughout the duration of the contract, which is entered into by the sportsperson as a result of the transfer, with full payment being dependent on that contract being fulfilled;
77. Calls on Member States to supplement existing regulatory provisions governing players’ agents / intermediaries with deterrent sanctions and to implement these sanctions rigorously;
78. Calls on sports governing bodies to enhance transparency with regard to players’ agents’ activities and to cooperate with Member States’ authorities to eradicate corrupt practices.