FIFPro survey reveals harsh realities for non-elite footballers

theo-van-seggelen, FIFProFIFPro has completed its biggest ever football survey, which found that nearly 45% of players earn less than $1,000 a month, and 60% receive less than $2,000 a month. In fact, only 2% of players take home $720,000 or more per annum, and 40% of players experience late payment of wages.

The ‘Global Employment Report’, which was conducted by Manchester University for FIFPro, gathered evidence from almost 14,000 players from 87 leagues in 54 countries. The global survey was notably missing responses from the biggest leagues in England, Spain and Germany, but of those players that did get involved, one in 14 had been approached by fixers.

There was a strong correlation between match-fixing and players who said their clubs have paid them late, as half of those approached have also had to wait for wages. The study also showed that players away from the biggest leagues have little to no job security.

Meanwhile, 30% have been transferred to clubs against their will, and 20% have been forced to train alone as a punishment or attempt to force a move. Overall, one in six say they have faced bullying and harassment in the workplace, but this is up at 28% in Scotland.

Theo Van Seggelen, FIFPro General Secretary, said: “This report for the first time provides a detailed and accurate picture of what the average professional player experiences. We now have an evidence base for the reforms that are needed in the football industry. Overdue payables, forced transfers and training alone – all this must be a thing of the past.

“We need to build a package of measures with all stakeholders. Clubs, leagues, confederations and FIFA must accept those failures of our industry. We need to guarantee minimum employment standards for all players and clubs in all countries, reform the international regulations, and think about the economic future of football.

“The new FIFA president (Gianni Infantino) announced that he wanted to work with the professional game to bring about much needed reform. This report must be the starting point.”

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