Dallas Texans Soccer club, Crossfire Foundation, Socker FC & Chicago FC
V/s Major league Soccer Players Union, Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin, Michael Bradley and others similarly situated.
The US Youth Soccer filed an administrative class action suit against the MLSPU, specifically naming Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and Michael Bradley as co defendants in the FIFA’s Dispute Resolution chamber (DRC) based in Zurich, Switzerland. . The complaint is over the subject of collection of several hundred thousand of dollars in fees, for training compensation and solidarity contribution. The US Youth soccer is seeking a declaratory judgment in order to resolve some or all of the other issues pertaining to the matter
The suit was filed in violation of FIFA Regulations Article 21 Section VII, which stipulates that, “If a professional is transferred before the expiry of his contract, any club that has contributed to his education and training shall receive a proportion of the compensation paid to his former club (solidarity contribution). “ So this means, if an institution has invested money via any means in the player, there will be a liability for the acquiring club to pay a certain amount of money for the sake of reimbursement of the previous investment by the former club. Further, the co-defendants were intentionally mentioned in order to maintain the complaint on the jurisdictional grounds.
The United States Soccer federation (USSF) citing the antitrust judgment of the MLS v/s Frazer, 1998 have structured a defense stating that the USSF have strictly banned the Youth clubs from collecting any of the fees of the sort and the guidelines have been given to all the domestic leagues. However, the same guidelines can change.
Further, if the compensation and solidarity fees is being imposed. This will lead to antitrust scrutiny, as there will be restrictions in the international players transfer under the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (‘RSTP’) of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (‘FIFA’)
The US Youth Soccer however in numerous meeting with the USSF has contended that the MLS v/s Frazer ruling doesn’t apply to the FIFA regulations and hence they have a valid claim over the due amount which the USSF has claimed arbitrary interpretation and an opinion.
It will be befitting to watch whether the parties reach a settlement or the US Youth Soccer ends up winning the case because in both of the above mentioned situation the entire structure and system of operation of the Youth Soccer/football has to be reformed from the core.