Saturday, 1 December 2012

The transfer saga to Malaysian footballer

Player may terminate his 'fixed term contract' for a 'valid sporting reason' or 'just cause'. A fixed-term contract is defined as a contract of employment which has a definite start and end date. On the other hand, what constitutes 'just cause' is not extensively defined. Art. 15 Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players stated that players may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause if he appeared in fewer than 10% of the official matches in which his club has been involved. What is your say fellow? 

If there is a unilateral breach without sporting just cause on the part of the player, sports sanction shall be applied and compensation payable is stated in Art. 17(4): see Chelsea v Mutu [2007] ISLR-SLR 32. How if, for one reason or another, player may want to take advantage of the fact that, his superstar status making it the right time to move on and accepting good offer. What left is the need of transfer registration which requires the consent and cooperation of the old master: see this principle in Radford v Champbell [1890] 6 TLR 488. Luckily, the Rules strictly disallow a club from approaching a player without a latter's approval: see Mainstream Properties v Young [2007] 2 WLR 920. And it is clear that any interference of this contractual relations is unlawful as illustrate in Wayne Rooney's case: see Proform Sports Management Ltd v Proactive Sports Management Ltd [2007] 1 All ER 542. Worst, if a player attempts to left the agreement behind or simply wants to walk away from fixed term contract, he may be guilty of serious or persistent breach of the fixed term contract: see Julian White v Bristol Rugby Ltd [2002] IRLR 204.

When a contract has been breached, compensation is available under FIFA Regulation. For more damages, since the contract is fixed term in nature, the measure of loss is the remaining earnings for the the period that the contract has left to run. If the old master intended to penalize the departing player, then ask for the imposition of penalties: see Murphy v Southend United Football Club Ltd (1999, unreported); Read Paul Mc Grath, 'Football contracts - fact or fiction' [2001] 9(2) SATLJ 114. However, do not attempt to obtain injunction to stop player from leaving. In the boxing case of Warren v Mendy [1989] 1 WLR 853, this effort may not effectively compel the player for personal services since footballer usually needs to exercise his psychological and physical skills for winning. 

The first issue - The justification of 'just cause' in Malaysian Football Player Contract

So, in principle, player and State/Club must respect and honour the contractual obligations during the whole agreed term. This is called 'pacta sunt servanda'. Yet, this principle is also not absolute. Most clauses in the player's agreement are not valid or imbalance (rights and obligations) between players and the States. And it can be presumed that, in fact there are many cases supporting this allegation, the imbalance agreement can be defined as 'just cause'. To justify the issue, the appointed Status Committee must examine all affidavits and comply the required procedure. The player (claimant) in applying 'termination on the ground of sporting just cause' must show the followings:
  1. He must be an established player who has completed his training period. (his level of footballing skill is at least equal or even superior of his team mates);
  2. He has appeared in less than 10% of the official matches. Appearance should be understood as being fielded or actively taking part in both national and international matches;
  3. Termination on this ground will only be valid if the he terminates his contract in the 15 days following the last official match of the season of his club.