Third Party Player Ownership (TPPO): A legitimate player financing mechanism or a threat to the integrity of sporting competition? – The Premier League Perspective

Please note that this event has been postponed due to Speaker illness. The event will be re-scheduled and details of the new date will be announced in due course.


A seminar as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Given by: Jane Purdon, Director of Governance, The Premier League


At the December 2014 meeting of FIFA’s Executive Committee, a decision was made to ban the practice of Third Party Player Ownership in football (TPPO). In FIFA’s statement following the meeting the decision was summarized as follows:

Following its decision of general principle that third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) shall be banned with a transitional period, the [FIFA] Executive Committee approved the following measures:

– The ban will come into force on 1 May 2015

– Existing agreements shall continue to be in place until their contractual expiry

– New agreements made between 1 January and 30 April 2015 will be subject to a time limit (one year maximum)

Third Party Player Ownership in football is an economic practice which has grown in significance over the last decade, particularly in Latin America; although it is banned in England, France and Poland. The EPFL (Association of European Professional Football Leagues) (2012, page 22) defines third party ownership as follows:

 …the partial or total ownership of `economic rights’ of a player by a third party (i.e. an entity which is not a club) which in the event of a future transfer, entitles such a third party to receive a share.

The decision to ban TPPO followed growing concerns across the global football industry about the practice and its impact on the integrity of sporting competition. In Europe UEFA, the European Clubs Association (ECA), the European Professional Leagues (EPFL), and the global professional players union (FIFPro), had all been calling for a ban on the practice.

However TPPO has already been banned in the English Premier League since the beginning of the 2009/2009 season. In this presentation Jane Purdon, Director of Governance at the Premier League (PL), explains why the PL decided to take this decision specifically addressing the following issues:

The context of the decision of the Premier League to ban TPPO.

  • The experience of the Premier League in regulating and implementing the ban in its competition.
  • How the experience of the Premier League ban on TPPO might inform the practice of the implementation of FIFA’s proposed ban.

Indicative Reading


Jane Purdon is Director of Governance at the Premier League. She has been at the League since May 2005. She previously worked at Sunderland Association Football Club as Club Secretary and Lawyer from 2001 to 2005. Jane is a lifelong Sunderland fan.

Contact Details

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil

Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

Twitter: @Birkbecksport

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