The Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) share company met last week to talk about a multidisciplinary assessment study and development plan for club licensing laws, club ownership, and player salaries.
Over the course of more than a year, Gashaw Abaza, team leader for Face Corner Consulting and an associate professor at Towson University, concentrated on the study’s fundamental concepts, specific goals, and research techniques, as well as other critical concerns.
The research was limited to off-field concerns and conducted in accordance with the research team’s presentation of the share company’s five fundamental objectives, according to Gashaw. He explained that the research was based on data and proof gathered from more than an hour of interviews and document collection with a total of 90 football stakeholders.
It comprises 400 pages, 46 recommendations, and six alternate approaches, according to the researcher.
At a two-day symposium involving player associations, participating clubs, club managers, coaches, and other stakeholders, the findings were presented. The majority of the first day’s session was devoted to discussing “club licensing guidelines” and “club ownership.”
The research largely concentrated on FIFA restrictions placed on clubs that did not adhere to the regulations and norms, Gashaw says. Five key ideas have been mentioned in the researcher’s explanation of the club licensing regulations.
According to some, some of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration are the needs for infrastructure, human resources, administrative needs, legal needs, and financial demands.
Before beginning their group talks, participants shared their opinions on the club licensing guidelines. The greatest barrier to club licensing regulations is a lack of dedication and understanding. The research found recommendations for the licensing rules’ methodology, presentation, and implementation in addition to problems.
Club managers, the president of the EPL Share Company, football federation leaders, representatives from regional youth and sports offices, higher education institution representatives, sports professionals (referees and commissioners), coaches, and professional associations all contributed their suggestions as part of the research.
The study suggested creating and implementing mandatory regulations as a way to offer options for improvement.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s sports policy and the Federal Sports Commission’s guidelines, as well as the context of Ethiopian clubs registering in the business world, have all been discussed. Stakeholders’ opinions on club ownership, European and African football club ownership, Ethiopian football club ownership, the legal framework, and all of these topics have been discussed.
A discussion was held while keeping the research’s recommendations in mind. In this instance, the divisions between the groups were mostly caused by the government’s ownership of clubs.
It has been claimed that a gradual transition away from ownership by a majority government would be preferable to an abrupt one. But on the government’s side, it was argued that registered supporters and investors ought to be given ownership stakes.
One of the main issues the report brings up is player fees.
The report goes into great depth regarding how Financial Fair Play (FPP), a guideline for how teams spend their money and a mechanism to keep an eye on it, has been employed by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
Other experiences from the English Premier League, the French League 1, the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, the North American Football League (NFL), the North American Baseball League (MLB), and the North American Basketball League (NBA) were brought up and shown to the participants in addition to the experience of this institution.
It was mainly noted that the fundamental truths that are permanent and essential to field contests should not be overlooked in the process of attempting to download the experiences of other countries to Ethiopia.
The study considered what each side had to say and offered recommendations that complied with the Labor Code, FIFA, CAF, and NF regulations.
The Ethiopian Premier League clubs currently spend roughly 40 million birr, or 70 percent, of their budgets on salaries (or, on average, 1.6 million birr per player per year and one player each month), the study showed. Players make USD 2,667, and the salary level in African nations was raised as a comparison, according to the study.
At least six months before the start of the following competition year, a budget outlining clear income and expenses for the year should be presented to the league office for consideration.
Aside from that, the report advised that the league implement “development-oriented compensation payment” and allocate 50 percent of government revenue on development activities.
These will involve building practice fields, stadiums, and other sporting facilities. It was also suggested that teams should pay all player salaries out of their organic revenue, which includes their share of TV rights and sponsorship money.