§1, item 19 of the Supplementary Provisions of the Physical Education and Sports Act defines a transfer, namely a transfer of the athletes’ sporting rights. The licensed sports federations maintain a transfer register and operate on the basis of rules adopted by it for the conditions and procedures for transfer and loan of sporting rights of amateur athletes and professional athletes. When concluding a transfer agreement, it is mandatory that the agreement is in compliance with applicable legislation, namely Physical Education and Sports Act, the Rules for its implementation, the Regulations and Rules of the sports federation and the international federation to which it is a member. The transfer agreement is a formal one and is concluded in writing with a notarized signature and is to be entered in the transfer register of the sports federation. An athlete’s sporting rights may be sub-contracted from one sports club to another for a fixed period during the sports year, commonly known as a player loan. Furthermore, a transfer agreement always contains a price. It should be noted that the transfer or loan of sporting rights is concluded with the prior written consent of the athlete, and for an adolescent who is at least 16 years of age, but under 18 years of age, with the written consent of the parents (guardians), in accordance with the Persons and Family Act. There is an established ban on the international transfer of adolescents under the age of 18, unless specific exceptions to the rule are present. We will give an example with the transfers of football players and basketball players. The ban on the international transfer of an adolescent – football player under the age of 18 is established in the FIFA Regulation on the Status and Transfers of Players, as well as in the Bulgarian Football Union’s Rules on Agreements and Transfers of Players. In case of any discrepancies between the FIFA Regulation and the Bulgarian Football Union’s Rules, the Regulation of the international federation would prevail. The ban on the international transfer of a teenager under the age of 18 is solely established in FIBA’s Book 3.
Regarding the ban on international transfers of an adolescent – football player, the exceptions are:
- The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football;
- The transfer takes place within the territory of the EU or EEA. In this case, the new club must fulfil the following minimum obligation:
- it shall provide the player with an adequate football education/training in line with the highest national standard;
- it shall guarantee the player an academic/school/vocational education/training, in addition to his football education/training, which will allow the player to pursue a career other than football should he cease playing professional football;
- it shall make all necessary arrangements to ensure that the player is looked after in the best possible way – optimum living standards with a host family or in club accommodation, appointment of a mentor at the club, etc.
- to provide proof to the football association that it is complying with the aforementioned obligations.
- The player lives no further than 50 km. from a national border and the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighbouring association is also within 50 km. of that border. The maximum distance between the player’s domicile and the club’s headquarters shall be 100 km. In such cases, the player must continue to live at home and the two associations concerned must give their explicit consent.
These types of transfers are subject to the approval of the subcommittee appointed by the Players’ Status Committee for that purpose. Any violations of this provision will be sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code.