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Winter transfers vista
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 12 - 02 - 2014

The world football governing body confirmed 2,631 international transfers were handled for a total transfer value of USD 346m through the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) and FIFA's Transfer Matching System (TMS). According to FIFA's official website, the data from this year's January window will be compiled in a new report produced by FIFA TMS featuring full analysis of Europe's Top 5 countries in terms of transfer fee spending. FIFA TMS is set to launch the report shortly.
The highlights of the 2014 January transfer window revealed the following:
FIFA TMS handled 2,631 transactions in the January 2014 transfer window, at an increase of 36% in comparison to the equivalent January 2013 transfer window data. The total transfer fee value amounted to USD 346m, representing a decrease of 30% in comparison to the equivalent January 2013 transfer window data.It also showed that 85% of international transfers in the January 2014 transfer window did not include a payment, while 26% of the transfers in January 2014 were on loan.Players with nationalities from South American and European countries feature among the top ranked nationalities in terms of highest volume of transfers involving fees. Scotland is England's largest engaging transfer partner by volume of transfers, with 51 players engaged by Scotland.
The vision of FIFA TMS is to foster and sustain a transparent transfer market based on integrity, accountability and innovation.In the context of the football transfer market, FIFA TMS aims toenable clubs to confirm the terms and conditions of player transfers,facilitate the transfer of player registrations between associations,help safeguard the protection of minors,provide information and decision-making tools to key stakeholders,train and support key stakeholders,monitor player transfer activities and investigate alleged breaches of the transfer regulations, andfinally, enforce adherence to the transfer regulations through a specific sanction system, presenting breaches of those transfer regulations and proposing sanctions to the competent FIFA-bodies.
It took FIFA two years of trials and training before bringing the TMS into effect in October 2010. It had all started back in 2007 whena decision was taken at the FIFA Congress in 2007 to implement an online system for registering transfers, one that would replace the old procedure based on agreements signed on paper. The new tool was developed and tested over the next three and a half years, with training given to FIFA member associations and to clubs. In that time TMS technicians have trained staff at 3,633 clubs in all 208 associations.
The system is designed to regulate the international transfers of male professional footballers and does not cover so-called “domestic” transfers, i.e. those between clubs of the same association. The system may, however, be extended to cover more fields at a later date. Nor does the TMS apply to transfers of players who retain their amateur status when moving between clubs, although the transfer of a player from amateur to professional status must be registered in accordance with the system.
In order for a transfer to be validated, the two clubs involved must enter the relevant information on the deal. Member associations must keep all information relating to the league season in question up to date, as well as information on player registrations, clubs and agents.
The following information must be given: the names of the clubs, the member associations, player details (date of birth, nationality, as well as first, last and middle names), type of transfer (permanent, loan or exchange), possible commission payments, the total transfer fee, details of any training compensation or solidarity contributions, payment deadlines (of which there may be one or more), the payment schedule (including dates, amounts paid and recipients), details of payments already made (including information on the paying bank, the payee bank, the amount paid, the date of payment and the recipient).
As well as the information above, clubs and associations are required to upload a series of documents in the system. These are as follows: documents providing proof of the nationality, correct spelling of name and age of the player, a copy of the player's new contract of employment, a copy of the transfer agreement and proof of payments.
The fact that fraud is very difficult to carry out online guarantees transparency. Clubs and their member associations are responsible for the information they enter on the system and for the actions that need to be undertaken. Prior to forwarding information, clubs are required to tick a box confirming that no third parties are involved in the transaction. Each club and association has their own system account and this allows the TMS teams to view the information they provide immediately, enabling them to identify each party involved along with any irregularities.
The TMS has a dedicated compliance and monitoring team plus a number of additional tools that oversee each transfer.One such arm of TMS is the aforementioned DTMS, which is designed to facilitate domestic transfers for Member Associations (MAS) and clubs acting in the same jurisdiction. It is modeled around the ITMS (International Transfer Matching System), already in use for cross-border player transfers.
DTMS is fully integrated with the ITMS with a single sign-on so that both the MA and its clubs can manage all of their domestic and international transfers in the same place.DTMS benefits the domestic transfer market by ensuring: strong governance, efficient transfer management and effective data management.
Strong governance guarantees increased adherence to MA transfer regulations with system- based processes and data driven analysis and increased involvement of the MA in transfer review and approval process (monitor minors' transfers possible, transfer fee matching and payment validation)
The efficient transfer management is achieved through speedy and efficient communication and approval via online system,automated matching of transfer data andfast-track counter instruction creation.
Effective data management ensures official documents are stored online, minimising document storage and search efforts,including a complete copy of all professional player transfers with the potential to replicate automatically to national registration systems,in addition to improved statistics and reporting capabilities.

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