FIFPRO is today publishing a set of recommendations to rebuild and strengthen the professional football industry during the pandemic, at the same time as protecting jobs, careers and the wellbeing of players.
There should be a unified approach by stakeholders with support from public authorities as football – which is both a social asset and employer in communities – is rocked by the impact of covid-19.
Furthermore, FIFPRO calls for a collective vision to make the game more resilient, transparent and socially diverse. The crisis must be a “catalyst to build on, rather than unwind” the industry’s development, the Covid-19: Recovery and Resilience recommendations say.
Player union should play a key role in mapping the future of the sport on behalf of footballers, with the right to full access of the financial accounts of stakeholders when the salaries and jobs of their members are at risk.
With more footballers reporting symptoms of mental health issues, the personal development and wellbeing of players must also be a priority and this area is most effectively overseen by independent player associations.
Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, FIFPRO General Secretary, said: “Because of the fragile situation professional football is in during the pandemic, collective agreements are increasingly important to develop fair and sustainable solutions that account for the needs of the people affected by this crisis.
“As is already happening in some markets, we need constructive dialogue between clubs, leagues, players unions, federations – and where relevant, governments – to support our industry and to build a more resilient future.”
The recommendations are an amended version for professional football based on World Players Association’s cross-sport report published today. World Players represents player associations in basketball, cricket, football, ice hockey and rugby union, among other sports.
The World Players report Covid-19: Supporting the Recovery and Rebuilding of the Global Sports Industry says players associations are being hit financially by the effects of Covid-19 and they must not be overlooked by governments in fiscal stimulus programs, noting their key role during the pandemic.
“Players with strong associations have been able to return to work and play as safely as possible, whereas those without have been exposed to unacceptable risks,” the report says. “Players and their associations are essential and committed partners in these vital recovery and rebuilding efforts.”