It used to be the case that a club, with whom a player’s contract had ended, could nevertheless refuse to let him join a club in a different FA (i.e. in one in another country) if it didn’t agree a transfer fee with that other club (under UEFA rules which are adopted by each of the FAs). In Bosman’s case this meant that he was out of contract with his club, but equally wasn’t being allowed to move to another. ECJ held that this was an infringement on the free movement of workers under article 39. The rule about limiting the number of foreign players in certain competitions was also held to be a breach of art. 39.
ECJ: Non-discriminatory rules which nevertheless impede access of workers to employment in another state are still caught by article 39. ECJ didn’t accept the justification that transfer fees were needed to make investment in young players worthwhile, on the basis that transfer fees didn’t actually correspond to the amount of money invested in young players, while the future of young players was v unpredictable.
To what extent does free movement law go beyond controlling discriminatory
practices? See, on restrictions on the use of products,