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All Arsenal player contracts to be reviewed

All the contracts of Arsenal players must be reviewed after it became clear that many of them (including the  8 year contract that Fabregas signed) are completely unenforceable under a new EU wide legal ruling made on 30 January 2008.  The new ruling puts the name Andy Webster alongside that of Jean-Marc Bosman.   From now on you can say the names together for they both have a significant impact.The Court of Arbitration for Sport on 30 January 2008 issued a landmark ruling that means no players can be held to their contracts for more than three years. For players who join clubs or renew their contracts after their 28th birthday that comes down to two years.

Webster left Hearts for Wigan in May 2006, having spent three years of a four-year contract in Edinburgh.  In leaving the club he was the first player to use article 17 of Fifa’s transfer regulations. Fifa awarded Hearts £625,000 but the Hearts wanted £4.6m and challenged Fifa’s at CAS. The court went totally against both Hearts and Fifa and compensation was actually cut right down to £150,000, which was the value of the remaining term of his contract.   The court rejected claims from Hearts that they had trained him, that his remaining contract had a value, and that he would not be the player he had become without all the work Hearts had put in.

Tony Higgins of Fifpro, the European players’ union said, “The Webster case allows players, after a set period of time and if they so wish, to decide who their future employer will be. We now have a degree of certainty about what the value in question will be. Clubs have to re-evaluate their strategies in dealing with players on long-term contracts. If they are on four- or five-year contracts and fall into the relevant age bracket, clubs may now have to renegotiate after two years.

“It is a bit like Bosman.  There will be worried clubs and clubs saying that this will ruin the game but after a period of time people will understand what their strategy will be and take due consideration. Once the clubs redefine their thinking, they will cope with this.”

So, clubs and players, can terminate contracts and player contracts now depreciate over a maximum of three years for players under 28.

So that means means that the 8 year contract signed by Cesc Fabregas has just become a 3 year contract.  That doesn’t mean Cesc will leave after 3 years – it just means that if we wanted to get up and wander off, he could do.  Three years is it.  Nothing beyond.

Quite a change.

There is a mountain of articles on Arsenal on www.emiratesstadium.info, plus the Stupidity Files, covering the antics of many other clubs.

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