FUFA should amend football regulations.

On 13th February 2020, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) communicated an amendment of regulations on the status and transfer of players to ensure that solidarity mechanism payments be applied at a national level.

When I read the amendment, it gave me mixed emotions.

I was very happy that domestic transfers will help to generate funds to grassroots football but also very disappointed and frustrated that the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) had never realized the potential of solidarity mechanism.

2020 marks four years since I wrote about the solidarity mechanism and how it could be used to generate revenue for football clubs in Uganda.

FUFA did amend article 30.3 regulations on the status and transfer of players but there was hardly any impact, close to wasted time.

The above amendment gives FUFA more work yet they should be simplifying it by ensuring that clubs start and end the entire process.

All that FUFA needs is to supervise the process.

My other disappointment comes from us not wanting to lead, we always want to follow.

We don’t want to challenge the process.

We lack football administrators with genuine passion and creativity that would have an instant impact on the development of football in Uganda.

Can you imagine the impact and legacy if FUFA had started a quality domestic solidarity mechanism and be used as a case study by FIFA? 

FUFA needs to amend football regulations that reflect its mission to develop, promote and protect football for all.

For that to happen, it requires having employees that are well motivated to think full time on how to develop, promote and protect football for all.

At the start of the 2019-20 season Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) amended competition regulations so that a player can represent two different clubs playing in the same competition.

That amendment helped generate more revenue in the January 2020 transfer window and for UEFA competitions to retain good players.

Erling Braut Haaland joined BvB Dortmund from RB Salzburg after they met his release clause for a reported £17 million.

Before the amendment, Haaland might have joined Dortmund but the UEFA Champions’ League would have lost a player of his quality which affects TV revenue.

Haaland could have decided to stay at RB Salzburg to play in the knock out rounds of the Europa League which would have meant that Salzburg misses out on earning £17 million.

The same can be said of Bruno Fernandes joining Manchester United from Benfica for £47 million, Minamino to Liverpool from RB Salzburg for £7 million and many other transfers.

UEFA’s action is an example of how a well thought out amendment on football regulations can have an impact on the development of football.

Now that FIFA has sorted out the domestic version of solidarity mechanism, FUFA needs to comb through the rest of its regulations because amending most of them would have an instant impact on the development, promotion, and protection of football in Uganda.

Solidarity payment contribution: FUFA should use it to develop football in Uganda.

Under FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players, if a professional footballer transfers to another club during the course of a contract, 5% of any transfer fee, not including training compensation paid to his former club, shall be deducted from the total amount of the transfer fee and distributed by the new club as a solidarity contribution to the club(s) involved in training and education the player over the years.

The Solidarity Payment Contribution podcast.

This solidarity contribution reflects the number of years the player was registered with the relevant club(s) between the seasons of the 12th and 23rd birthdays, as follows:

Season of birthday% of compensation% of total transfer fee
12th5%0.25%
13th5%0.25%
14th5%0.25%
15th5%0.25%
16th10%0.50%
17th10%0.50%
18th10%0.50%
19th10%0.50%
20th10%0.50%
21st10%0.50%
22nd10%0.50%
23rd10%0.50%
Total100%5%
The above table is a breakdown of solidarity payment contribution.

According to my financial expert Andrew Muhimbise, passive income is money earned without the direct involvement of the income earner.

Passive income does not mean earning money by doing nothing.

It means generating revenue without having to exchange time for it (beyond the initial time invested in creating a passive income stream).

For instance, owning real estate or company shares, you actually don’t have to physically be there to earn but, to earn passive income, you need an initial effort.

Paul Pogba’s move from Juventus to Manchester United for £89,300,000 helped Le Havre AC to earn £893,000 as passive income.

He joined the club aged 12 for four years. Since they contributed to his development and education as a football player, they earned passive income for their efforts.

Racqui San Isidro who ply their trade in Spain’s fifth division were saved from running out of football business by the solidarity mechanism payment.

Pedro’s £27,000,000 transfer from Barcelona to Chelsea ensured that they earned a lifesaving £320,000 which not only helped them stay in football but ensured they invested the money to increase income to help run the club.

The same cannot be said of football clubs in Uganda.

FUFA SHOULD IMPLEMENT A DOMESTIC SOLIDARITY MECHANISM PAYMENT SYSTEM THAT DEVELOPS UGANDAN FOOTBALL

The solidarity mechanism payment system only applies to international transfers (involves moving from one federation to another federation), Federation Of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) can implement a domestic version that would STRICTLY apply to DOMESTIC transfers.

In the past years we have seen how Ibrahim Sekagya’s transfer from Arsenal de Serandi to Red Bull Salzburg caused more fist fights than celebrations, with the Austrian club required to pay 5% of the transfer fee, all of Sekagya’s former teams were demanding for payment, reason: they heard that there was payment but, in reality they didn’t know which club qualified for payment.

With a domestic solidarity mechanism payment,

  1. Clubs will be organized and maintain records because they will expect payment from transfers. Handling “small” transfer fees will help prepare clubs for the huge amounts and avoid the issue of Victor Wanyama’s transfer from Celtic to Southampton.
  2. Clubs will work very hard to train and maintain quality players because they will know that it pays to train a “Pogba”. At the moment, we have young players moving every transfer window, the lack of stability denies players a chance to get proper football education and to develop talent.
  3. Clubs will appreciate the value of having full-time standard academies and attaching value to talented footballers. With more transfers and funds being paid to clubs, more money will get to grassroots which helps clubs acquire equipment.
  4. Clubs will work very hard to stay in business by adopting modern business methods. Having the hope that there’s payment because of a good product on the market would keep any club afloat.
  5. The problem of age cheating will be solved because clubs would need to register players from the age of twelve and keep tracking them to avoid missing out on a huge payday.

The most expensive Ugandan footballer has got to be Farouk Miya after Standard Liege paid $400,000 to Vipers.

On applying the solidarity mechanism payment formula, Standard Liege should be paying Friends Of Football (FOF) about $6,000.

Do they have the paperwork to prove he was groomed at their academy?

Do they have the knowledge that they are due $6,000 from Standard Liege?

Why is it that a law that was introduced to develop football at grass root level is not serving its intended purpose?

The biggest move of the 2016-17 Ugandan transfer window was of Musa Esenu joining Vipers SC from Soana FC for a reported 25,000,000 Uganda Shillings.

The 21-year-old striker was groomed by Future Stars in Soroti.

Below is an illustration of how a domestically applied solidarity mechanism payment would benefit Future Stars.

Player Musa Esenu
Registering Club Vipers SC
Former ClubSoanaD.O.B
Instalment25,000,000CurrencyUGX
95% due to Selling Club23,750,000
Solidarity 1,250,000
Season of BirthdayClub% dueAmount
Season of 12th BirthdayFuture Stars 5.00%62,500
Season of 13th BirthdayFuture Stars 5.00%62,500
Season of 14th BirthdayFuture Stars 5.00%62,500
Season of 15th BirthdayFuture Stars 5.00%62,500
Season of 16th BirthdayFuture Stars 10.00%125,000
Season of 17th BirthdayFuture Stars 10.00%125,000
Season of 18th BirthdayFuture Stars 10.00%125,000
Season of 19th BirthdayFuture Stars 10.00%125,000
Season of 20th BirthdaySoana10.00%125,000
Season of 21st BirthdayN/A10.00%125,000
Season of 22nd BirthdayN/A10.00%125,000
Season of 23rd BirthdayN/A10.00%125,000
TOTAL1,250,000

As illustrated above, Future Stars would pocket 750,000 Uganda shillings of passive income from Esenu’s move for their initial effort in grooming him. It sounds like very little money but it’s enough to buy basic football equipment to keep them running.

It would prepare Future Stars to receive bigger amounts should Esenu move from Vipers for a higher transfer fee and most importantly, its better than nothing at all.

The ball is in FUFA’s half to be creative and come up with a domestic solidarity mechanism payment system to help clubs to develop through being able to get funds to the grass root structures that groom football players.

Amending domestic player transfer regulations would do the trick.