(CMR) Members of the football community, including parents of teenage players, have expressed concerns about a new transfer fee policy implemented by the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA).
Under the new CIFA policy, which the governing body says is in line with FIFA's regulations, a fee of $300 must be paid to CIFA and $200 to the club from which the player is being transferred for every year the player was with the club in order for a transfer to take place. These fees are expected to be paid by the club receiving the transferred player.
In response to a query from a parent, a member of the CIFA executive explained that CIFA provides all clubs CI$5,000.00 annual grant for such expenses and clubs should not transfer the invoice to players. However, persons wishing to transfer said the fees are being passed on to players, who do not get paid to play the sport.
CIFA stated that the fees were implemented to ensure “fairness to the clubs that invested time and resources in the players and need compensation, as well as CIFA to have less than 1% of its operational expenses minimized as these transfers require a lot of staff hours and resources.”
“Our objective is to make people more committed to the clubs that invest a lot of time and resources and have a huge responsibility to take care of someone else's children,” CIFA stated in response to the parent's questions.
However, parents and other stakeholders believe this new fee policy is taking away the freedom of players to move between clubs, as they must be “bought” in order to transfer.
Some believe the transfer fee policy has “taken away the joy, fun, and ability for our kids to play football with friends as young kids.”
Before this new policy, players were allowed to move to a new team at the end of each season, from January 1 to 31.
Stakeholders believe this new policy will allow clubs to exert control over players' movement, perpetuating the sense of ownership over these players.
Also, stakeholders believe that this new policy, while protecting clubs, is putting players at a disadvantage, attaching them to clubs that may no longer be instrumental in their development and accomplishing their dreams. There is the view that this policy could stifle the dreams of football players who may wish to pursue their passion elsewhere.