Third party owner ban would be bad for Brazil, says club lawyer

A leading Brazilian football lawyer believes FIFA’s move to outlaw third-party ownership (TPO) of players could seriously harm the game in South America.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 22, 2014, 11:03 AM IST
Third party owner ban would be bad for Brazil, says club lawyer
Sepp Blatter

Bridgetown: A leading Brazilian football lawyer believes FIFA’s move to outlaw third-party ownership (TPO) of players could seriously harm the game in South America.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in September that the world body would ban the practice, whereby a player`s rights are owned wholly or partly by a private company or the player himself rather than just the club.

"We use this kind of asset, the available asset that we have, on a large scale in Brazil," Daniel Cravo, a lawyer for Brazilian clubs Fluminense and Internacional told Reuters at the Soccerex Americas Forum on Tuesday.

"We don`t have plenty of money to share concerning television rights or sponsorship, those kind of assets are reserved for a few clubs and we have, of course, a large football system on many levels.

"Activities around the development of players will be really impacted by this decision. These investors are sponsoring the development of players in Brazil for a long time. So even if we decided to ban it, I think it needs to be made in a much more careful way."

Cravo said the FIFA decision, which followed pressure from UEFA over the issue, was a "political one" which was "provoked" by UEFA president Michel Platini.

"They simply decided to ban it without analysing better the consequences for the smallest or poorest markets like the South American ones," said Cravo.

The lawyer warned that Brazilian players would move abroad even earlier in their careers further weakening the domestic league.

"Neymar was able to stay for two years in Brazil because he had someone funding his stay. So this is not going to happen. In the short term it will be for the benefit of the biggest European clubs for sure," he said.

Cravo said that clubs such as Porto and a number of Spanish teams had indicated they were disappointed by the FIFA ruling, while the European Club Association has argued that there needs to be an extended transitional period before any ban.

The lawyer said the legal status of Brazilian clubs as civil associations rather than private companies made it harder for people to invest in clubs rather than players and he expected a real fight against the FIFA ban to emerge in South America.

"I think we should try until the end to fight for the survival of this. I am not saying that we should not regulate, of course we should, to make it more transparent and so on," he said.

"But the necessities for the clubs, if you ban will not simply disappear. They will still need this money."