FIFA has two ways of rewarding football training clubs : by training compensation or by the solidarity mechanism, both are regulated under the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) regulations, in accordance with articles 20º and 21º and Annexes 4, 5 and 6 of the FIFA regulations
Training compensation comes into force when a player signs his first contract as a professional, and every time a professional is transferred, until the end of the season of his 23rd birthday. The obligation to pay training compensation arises whether the transfer takes place either during or at the end of the player’s contract.
With the solidarity mechanism however, the training club receives a percentage when a player (who was trained by the club between the ages of 12 to 23) is sold to another; this applies to all transfers during the player’s career regarding the training club for each year that the player spent playing for the club.
In the same way, payments under both training compensation and the solidarity mechanism, must be shared amongst the several training clubs (in the event of that player having trained in more than 1 club). Although these two regimes seem similiar, there are some differences between them.
In the first place, training compensation becomes payable when a player signs his first professional contract with a different club from the one with which he was trained. This regime is applicable whether between clubs belonging to the same national association or not, until the end of the season of the player’s 23rd birthday, whether that transfer involves a fee or not. By contrast, the solidarity mechanism payment will only be payable in the case of the international transfer of a player who is already a professional, and if a transfer involves a fee, between clubs belonging to different national associations, prior to the expiry of this employment contract.
The calculation of training compensation can be found in “Training Costs”, Annex 4, RSTP. However, a different rule applies with the solidarity mechanism where a maximum of 5% of the total of the transfer applies, in accordance with Annex 5, RSTP.
Just to provide an example of the above, let us imagine a player who has spent all of his formative period, from 12 to 23 years old, in the same training club. If during his career there is a transfer of 1.000.000€ , the training club will receive 5% of that transfer, something like 50.000€. It is obvious that this sort of amount can serve as an “oxygen pump” to a small club, one that is anxiously waiting for this kind of opportunity. Those who follow football appreciate that a transfer of one million is a modest value and not at all unusual.
The main news concerning the solidarity mechanism has been the introduction of Annex 6, of RSTP. From 1 October 2015, all complaints regarding the solidarity mechanism had to be submitted and processed by the FIFA TMS platform, in order to give greater efficiency and protection for the so-called “smaller” clubs.
This Transfer Matching System is an online system with the main objective of simplifying the process of international transfer of players, as well as increasing transparency and exchange of information. All complaints regarding the solidarity mechanism must be addressed to the TMS platform by the official accountant of the club, or, in the case of an amateur club, by the association to which it belongs. A regular update of the TMS by the club is required, and the club is responsible for any consequences that may arise from the lack of reply within the specified time.