25th Anniversary “Bosman Law”

Many of you may be wondering who is the man in the picture in today’s post. Well, this is a footballer who passed unnoticed through the pitches, but he marked a before and after in football regulation as we know it today.

This week is the 25th anniversary of the well-known “Bosman Law”. Incredible but true, Jean-Marc Bosman did not manage to enjoy on the field his victory in the courts.

To understand this article it is not necessary to understand football, simply two premises about the legislation of that time must be clear:

  • Despite the termination of the contract and the release of the player, the club could claim a compensatory amount (lien).
  • European players, despite being members of the European Union, were not free to play in other countries of the Union. Therefore the quota of non-EU players, 3 at that time, included them and took them opportunities away.

Let’s travel to the summer of 1990. Jean – Marc Bosman, Belgian player from RFC Liege, ends his contract (he does not accept any renewal offer) and is sought by French club Dunkerque. The Belgian team exercises the lien and asks the French team for an amount of money that it cannot access. Consequently the player is left without a team.

Under the legal framework of the Treaty of Rome, Bosman struggled for five years in search of a favorable ruling. Finally in 1995, the lien was abolished and the free movement of European players within the EU was allowed.

Jean-Marc, you recently pointed out that you felt imprisoned by your club. Thank you for freeing those who followed you.

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