Turkey: Collection Of The Footballers’ Receivables In Turkey

Last Updated: 2 November 2012
Article by Orçun Doğancalı

I Introduction

The Turkish football industry is the seventh largest in Europe, having generated a revenue of 515 million Euros in 2011. However, some of Turkey’s top football teams (including Fenerbahce), their officials (including Fenerbahce’s club president Mr. Aziz Yildirim), and various players are still subject to criminal investigations started in 2011. In addition to these incidents, in 2011 there were also major legislative amendments introduced by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) with respect to the collection of the players’ receivables. In this article, these amendments, which are tremendously effective, will be summarised both from the perspectives of the Turkish and the foreign players. It will be concluded that the Turkish players have three legal options to pursue their receivables against the Turkish clubs, whereas the foreign players have four. In order to produce a reader friendly text, references to the specific statuses of the TFF / FIFA as well as the Turkish legislation are purposefully avoided in this article.

II Arbitration at the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the TFF (Chamber)

Is suing the club at the Chamber mandatory or voluntary? Voluntary.

When should the parties agree on the arbitration? Before or after the dispute arises? After the dispute.

A New Directive regulating the Chamber was put into force in August 2011 (New Directive). In case a dispute (such as one regarding receivables) arises between the club and the player, either party is entitled to apply to the Chamber in writing. After that, the Chamber shall notify the other party whether it (in practice, this party is always the club) accepts that the dispute shall be resolved by the Chamber. In other words, this arbitration is not a compulsory one and the parties should even agree, after the dispute arises, on whether the dispute should be resolved by the Chamber. These are the most noteworthy amendments introduced by the New Directive. Before the New Directive, the club and the player were obliged to resolve the receivables dispute through the mandatorily applicable arbitration procedures of the Chamber. During the period when the previous mandatory arbitration of the Chamber was in force, disputes between the clubs and players, as expected, were resolved faster and with less cost than the litigation in the court. The usual length of the trial of the compulsory arbitration of the Chamber would be approximately 1 (one) year.

The reason and the rationale behind why the mandatory arbitration of the Chamber has been abolished is controversial (i.e. is it because the UEFA/FIFA has requested this? Not entirely, we presume). Leaving that question aside, after the New Directive was put into force, we have the fact that only few cases are brought before the Chamber. As expected, the clubs generally do not agree on the new voluntary arbitration procedure of the Chamber. From the perspective of the Clubs’ interests, litigation in the court is more favourable since in that way they are able to postpone the payment of the player’s receivables even if the court renders its decision in favour of the player.

III Litigation in the court

Is this a lengthy and costly legal option? Yes, it is.

If there is a receivable dispute and if the club does not provide its consent that the dispute shall be resolved at the arbitration of the Chamber (- as explained in section II above - ), then the player should sue the club at the Turkish court. There must always be a signed professional player’s contract between the player and the club. Any player’s contract should define the club’s financial obligations with regard to the player’s salary, bonuses etc. Having said that, the legal ground of the lawsuit shall be the infringement of the player’s contract. This lawsuit is an ordinary and usual “receivables” lawsuit that will be resolved pursuant to the Turkish Procedural Law and Code of Obligations etc. In the best case scenario, the usual length of the litigation in court (including its appeal period) would be 2 (two) years.

IV Directly initiating the collection proceedings through the execution office

Does this procedure have more adventurous payments? Yes, it does.

As an alternative to the legal options explained above, the player may directly initiate execution proceedings upon the club for the collection of his receivables. Upon receiving the request of the player in writing, the execution office shall serve the payment order upon the club. Within seven days following the receipt of the payment order, the club shall either object to the payment order or pay the amount/receivables indicated in the payment order to the player. If the club objects, then the player should apply to the court for the cancellation of the objection. This lawsuit is not entirely different from the one explained in section III above. The only additional legal benefit available to the player is that the court might order the payment of the “execution denial compensation” in the amount of 20 percent of the receivables (- if the disputed receivable(s) is definite and/or determinable before the trial). In most cases, as explained, there will be a player’s contract setting forth explicitly the amount of the salary, bonuses etc. that the player will receive. This means that the receivable is definite or at least determinable. To briefly re-phrase this: the player might be able to receive the receivable, plus compensation to the amount of 20 percent of the receivable.

V Taking the club to the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA (DRC)

Are foreign players in Turkey armed with more powerful legal option(s) within the scope of the legislation of the FIFA? Yes, they are.

It should be noted that, like Turkish players, foreign players are also entitled to sue Turkish clubs. The legal option explained below is an additional legal remedy, which does not preclude the foreign players to exercise legal options available to the Turkish players.

Having said that, the DRC is entitled to resolve the employment related disputes between the players and the clubs of an international dimension. It is unarguable that a dispute between a foreign player and a Turkish club with respect to receivables is an employment related dispute with an international dimension. In other words, the foreign player is entitled to sue the Turkish club at the DRC for the settlement of his receivable dispute. If the DRC renders its decision in favour of the player, then the DRC notifies the short version decision (i.e. findings of the decision) to the Turkish club through the TFF. The club has two options; either pay the receivable within 30 days following the receipt of the short version decision or request the issuance of the full version decision (decision with grounds/reasons) from the DRC within 10 days following the receipt of the short version decision. For the Club, the time limit to appeal the decision of the DRC at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) shall commence upon the receipt of the full version decision.

At the end of the procedures, the decision of the DRC in favour of the foreign player might become final and binding. Upon that, if the Turkish club does not fulfil the decision of the DRC, (i.e. payment of the player’s receivables), then the Turkish club might be subject to severe disciplinary sanctions imposed by FIFA and implemented through the TFF (such as payment of a heavy fine, deduction of 6 points that the club gained in the national league, etc.)

VI Conclusion

As explained, there are three legal options available to the Turkish players to pursue their receivable(s) against the club, namely;

  • OPTION 1: Suing the club at the voluntary arbitration of the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the TFF and,

  • if the club does not agree on the voluntary arbitration of the TFF, then the player should either;

(i) OPTION 2: sue the club before the court,

or

(ii) OPTION 3: directly initiate execution proceedings for the collection of his receivable(s) (- if the club objects to the execution proceedings, then the player should file a lawsuit for the cancellation of the objection - ). Option 3 provides an advantageous legal mechanism for the player to receive the (additional) “execution denial compensation” in the amount of 20 % of the receivable.

As far as foreign players are concerned, they have an additional legal option available to them i.e. suing the club at the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA. (OPTION 4) In other words, foreign players are entitled to sue the clubs like Turkish players, plus they have an additional international weapon.

Which of the options explained above areto be chosen and initiated against the Turkish club depends on the particulars of each individual case (such as whether the club is in a good financial situation, whether the Club is willing to pay etc.)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions