WORKING WITH INTERMEDIARIES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is an “Intermediary”?
Intermediary means any person or legal persons (e.g. company, business) who, for a fee or free of charge, is engaged by a Club (being any club that is registered or affiliated with FFA, one of its member federations or an association affiliated to one of its member federations) and/or Player in a “Transaction”.
2. What is a “Transaction”?
Transaction means the conclusion of either:
· an employment contract between a player and club, including, without limitation, a renegotiation, variation, extension or renewal of an existing employment contract; or
· a transfer agreement between two clubs.
3. Who can act as an Intermediary and what do I need to lodge?
Subject to complying with FFA’s Regulations on Working with Intermediaries (the Regulations) and submitting a valid Intermediary Declaration, any person or legal person may act as an Intermediary.
If you act as an Intermediary in a Transaction, FFA will register your involvement in the FFA Registration System. Before FFA registers you in the system, FFA must be satisfied that you:
· have an impeccable reputation; and
· have no conflicts (e.g. employment or contractual relationship) with FFA, leagues, associations, confederations or FIFA.
To satisfy FFA of these two requirements, FFA must be provided with an Intermediary Declaration (Schedule A or B of the Regulations on Working With Intermediaries as required) from you, unless you are an Australian legal practitioner (see item 4 below).
The Intermediary Declaration may be lodged at one of two points in time:
1. An Intermediary may themselves lodge their Intermediary Declaration with FFA prior to representing any Players or Clubs in a Transaction. The Intermediary will need to make payment of the pre-lodgement service fee, by using the Pre-Lodgement Form.
2. The Player or Club who engages an Intermediary for a Transaction who has not pre-lodged their Intermediary Declaration with FFA is required to lodge the Intermediary’s Intermediary Declaration at the time of submitting a valid Representation Contract (see item 8 below).
If option 2 is used, each time an Intermediary is involved in a Transaction the Player and/or Club must submit the Intermediary’s Intermediary Declaration
4. What if I am a lawyer with a current Australian practising certificate?
Under the new Regulations on Working With Intermediaries, Lawyers are exempt in certain circumstances from being required to submit an Intermediary Declaration when acting as an Intermediary.
If you are a Lawyer with current Australian practising certificate and a Club or Player has engaged you to provide legal services in relation to a Transaction, then you do not need to submit an Intermediary Declaration. However, the Club and/or Player must still advise FFA that you have acted as an Intermediary.
Under the Regulations, “Engaged to Provide Legal Services” means you have entered into an engagement agreement with that Club or Player, that you are providing legal advice as part of a bona fide legal practice, and that you are remunerated in a way which is consistent with how a lawyer is ordinarily remunerated for carrying out legal services.
In all other circumstances, Lawyers are required to provide an Intermediary Declaration in the same manner as all other Intermediaries.
Irrespective of whether a Lawyer is required to submit an Intermediary Declaration, when a Lawyer is acting as an Intermediary in relation to a Transaction the Lawyer is subject to all other requirements of the Regulations, including publication of details referred to in clause 5.1 of the Regulations.
5. How much will it cost?
Any Intermediary who opts to pre-lodge an Intermediary Declaration with FFA using the Pre-Lodgement Form will be required to pay the following initial Service Fee, depending on their time of lodgement:
· Pre-lodgement between 1 May 2016 and 31 December 2016: $500 + GST (Total of $550); or
· Pre-lodgement between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017: $250 + GST (Total of $275).
Payment of the above Service Fee will entitle an Intermediary to remain pre-lodged for the purposes of FFA’s Regulations on Working With Intermediaries until 30 June 2017.
Following this period, a renewal Service Fee will be payable annually. For the period 1 July 2016 to 1 June 2017, the renewal Service Fee is $250 + GST (total of $275).
Payment can be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), cheque or money order.
6. What are the benefits of pre-lodging my Intermediary Declaration?
If you opt to pre-lodge your Intermediary Declaration, you will then be listed (along with any relevant contact details) on the Intermediaries page of FFA’s website. Players and Clubs may use this page as a starting point when seeking to engage an Intermediary, and Clubs or Players will not have to provide an Intermediary Declaration along with their Representation Contract where that Intermediary has pre-lodged.
7. What if my circumstances change?
If at any time your circumstances change in a way which renders your Intermediary Declaration false or misleading (for example, a conflict arises, or you are convicted of a violent or financial crime) you must notify FFA immediately and you will be deemed to not have a validly lodged Intermediary Declaration with FFA.
8. What happens when I have been engaged by a Player or a Club in a Transaction?
You and the Club or Player must enter into a Representation Contract, which sets out the nature of the relationship (for example, whether a service, consultancy, job placement) and its terms.
The onus is then on the Player or Club to ensure a copy of this Representation Contract is lodged with FFA within 7 days of completion of the Transaction.
9. Who can see details of my involvement in Transactions?
FFA will publish at the end of March each year:
· the name of each Intermediary FFA has registered in the FFA Registration System;
· a list of every Transaction in which an Intermediary was involved; and
· the total amount of all remunerations or payments actually made to Intermediaries by Players and Clubs.
This is in addition to FFA maintaining a list on FFA’s website of Intermediaries who have pre-lodged an Intermediary Declaration.
10. Is there any limitation on how much I can earn, or who pays?
Yes, there are restrictions. An Intermediary must not be remunerated by a club or a player where the Transaction involves a player aged under 18.
Payments to Intermediaries must only be made by the Player or Club who engaged them.
There are a number of other important payment terms and conditions contained in the Regulations which all Intermediaries should familiarise themselves with.
11. Do I need to be an Australian?
12. Is there an exam?
13. I intend to contract players to clubs outside Australia. Is pre-lodgement of an Intermediary Declaration with FFA in Australia effective in all countries?
No. Pre-lodgement of an Intermediary Declaration with FFA only allows an Intermediary to benefit where the Transaction is in relation to an Australian Club. Specifically, where an Intermediary has pre-lodged with FFA, the relevant Australian Club (or their Player) will not have to provide to FFA an Intermediary Declaration along with the relevant Representation Contract.
If you intend to contract players to clubs outside Australia, please contact the governing body of football in that overseas country.
14. What is the difference between the Schedule A Intermediary Declaration and the Schedule B Intermediary Declaration?
The Schedule A Intermediary Declaration is for an Intermediary who contracts as a “natural person”, whereas the Schedule B Intermediary Declaration is for an Intermediary who contracts as the authorised representative of a “legal person” (that is, a company).
15. When did FFA’s Regulations on Working With Intermediaries come into force?
1 April 2015. Any subsequent amendments to the Regulations on Working With Intermediaries come into effect immediately.
The Regulations on Working With Intermediaries also supersede FFA’s Players’ Agents Regulations.