EC to rule on transfer payments
In 1995, the European Court of Justice determined (the Bosman ruling) that professional sport should be treated as a normal economic activity. This implies that all of the rules of the European Union apply.
Since the Bosman ruling, the European Commission has received a number of complaints about transfer fees in soccer. Transfer fees are fees that a club needs to pay another club for the transfer of a player, even if the contract between the former club and the player has expired. The complaints allege that transfer payments are in breach of Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome, which prohibits agreements that restrict competition.
The Commission is preparing to make a ruling on this case before the end of 2000. If that happens, it will be the first time Article 81 is applied to contractual issues. It will also be one of the first applications to sports activities.
Source: Financial Times, May 20/21, 2000