Verbal Offers of Contract to Football Players

Football Players under contract

When a football player is signed by a football club, under FIFA Transfer Regulations they must sign a contract with that club.

What is the maximum period a footballer can sign with a specific club?

The maximum period of time that a footballer can sign with a specific club will be for five years.

What does it mean for a footballer to be under contract with a specific club?

When a footballer is under contract with a specific club this means that the only club which they are able to represent in association football matches is that club. The player will be paid a weekly wage for his services to the club and will enjoy other such benefits such as playing and performance bonuses.

The club will also have certain other benefits in that player being contracted to the club, such as the use of the player in certain promotions and in line with certain sponsorship deals.

When will a footballer be required to sign a contract with a football club?

A football player will be required to sign a playing contract with a football club in one of the following scenarios:

  • When a youth player has come through the ranks at a club and they have reached the age whereby they are able to sign a professional contract
  • When a player has moved to that club – whether on a free transfer or following the payment of a transfer fee
  • When a player contracted to the club is offered a new contract by that club

When can a footballer be offered a new contract?

A footballer can be offered a new playing contract by their club at any time during their time with the club regardless of how many years they still have left on their already existing contract. If a player’s contract is coming to an end and the club wishes to retain their services then they will make an offer of a new contract to that player. However, it will often occur that a player has performed so well that the club may decide to provide them with an improved offer of a contract.

Why would the club wish to do that?

If a player has performed well this will not have gone unnoticed by other football clubs who may want to sign that player.

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For more information on:

  • When can a player under contract with one club move to another club?
  • Does a verbal offer of a contract to a player constitute a fully binding contract?
  • How did this case come about?
  • What was the outcome of the case?
  • Why did the player wish to move to another club?
  • Has the original club appealed the decision?
  • Is there anything else which the club may be able to claim form?