More Than A Third of European Players Not Receiving Full Salaries, Explains FIFPro Boss

By Community | September 18, 2012

With two weeks having passed since the transfer window slammed shut, Theo van Seggelen, the head of the game’s international players’ union, has revealed that more than a third of Europe’s professional footballers are not receiving their salaries in full.

The head of FIFPro is looking to completely alter the current situation, highlighting the erratic and irresponsible spending of club owners during such an unfavourable economic climate for the players not being paid what they are owed.

He said: “If the patient is sick, you have to give him some medicine.

“More and more clubs are getting into financial difficulty but they are behaving as if nothing has happened.

“Everybody is thinking about himself and no-one is respecting contracts any more.

“It’s time to completely re-evaluate the transfer regulations.”

According to van Seggelen, player power is a major problem in the sport, pointing to numerous occasions where players have wound down their contract to bargain for more money.

He said: “Look at someone like Robin van Persie.

“He is bought by Manchester United for more than €30 million (£24 million/$39 million) even though he had only one year left on his Arsenal contract.

“He’s a good example of huge salaries being paid to the top players with no money left for anyone else.”

Consequently, van Seggelen believes that it is the footballers lower down the pecking order in less fortunate positions that suffer.

“We think the money should be spent on the education of young players rather than on players coming to the end of long contracts,” he said.

“The current system creates a rat race that makes it more difficult for the average player to get a job.

“We have to do something about this.”

“We are 100 per cent behind Financial Fair Play [regulations] and nor are we saying players don’t earn their money,” he insisted.

“But all this haggling has to stop.

“When a player signs a contract that should be binding – for both sides.

“We estimate that more than 30 per cent of players at smaller clubs Europe-wide are not receiving their salaries.

“I’m not just talking about Eastern Europe but also in countries like Spain and Portugal.

“Partly it is because of this game of Russian roulette that is going on at the top of the game, either offering re-contracted players too much money or selling them on at a huge fee.