FIFPRO study calls for new social contract for player welfare

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(Reuters) - A study of domestic soccer in 79 countries by global players' union FIFPRO showed less than one-third have a well-functioning system with stable employment conditions.

The report, named 'Shaping Our Future' and based on economic market inputs from auditing firm KPMG, said there is a lack of national and international financial protection schemes that guarantee players their salaries.

While Europe's top-five domestic leagues in England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy were said to have a "high degree of stability", there were 23 countries facing "significant challenges to development".

"We are in the middle of a new wave of industrial and societal development but the culture and governance in the game is stuck in the past," said FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

"Players must have a say on issues that affect their working conditions and take their rightful position in decision-making structures.

"It is time for a new 'social contract' and a commitment to treat players – male, female, on all continents – with dignity and respect."

The report said countries that have sound governance, stakeholder representation and collective agreements with player unions lead to stability and sustained development.

For example, the study showed players experienced better working conditions and stability in Netherlands, which has a small revenue, than they did in large football economies such as Turkey.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)