24 minutes | May 5th 2020

Solidarity Payments in US Soccer

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What are solidarity payments, why do we have them, and how do they work? Do they work at all in the United States? Let’s talk through a use case.

In this episode, we share some recent news, then jump into the concept of solidarity payments. Specifically, we talk through the case of DeAndre Yedlin, featuring Crossfire Premiere, FIFA, USSF, and the MLS.  At the end of this episode, I hope that the concept of solidarity payments (and training compensation) are a little more clear. 

May 27, 2015 – Shah Alam, Malaysia: Tottenham Hotspurs play the Malaysian Selection soccer team in a friendly match at the Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia. The English Premier League football club is on their Asia-Australia tour.

COVID-19 Impact on the Game

WPSL and ODP have both suspended their summer programming & are looking forward to the Fall. Expect to see more delayed openings and Summer impact across the US. As the country re-opens, it will likely be uneven and state or regionally based. 

The game of soccer is a social game. Not only do we have 22 players on the field, but we have active and very social sidelines. Part of the joy of the game is playing and chatting with others in concentrated fields and sideline environments. It’ll be impossible to do social distancing with players and nearly impossible to social distance on the sidelines. 

Kids are at home and many are not working out regularly. A big question in my mind as a coach, is how can we keep our kids engaged and active? This is when super coaching and parental support can play a big role. 

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What is Training Compensation?

From MLCSoccer.com: “Under the FIFA Regulations, when a player registers as a professional for the first time in a country other than the one where he did his training, the club with which he registers is responsible for paying Training Compensation to every club that contributed to his training, starting from the season of his 12th birthday through the season of his 21st birthday. Additionally, Training Compensation is due on a player’s subsequent international transfer through the season of his 23rd birthday to his immediately prior professional club.”

These exist as a way to incentivize youth clubs to do their best at developing players, to invest in the development environment, and to earn some rewards for the effort. 

The US system is largely paid for by parents, sponsorships, and charitable donations. Is it fair for US-based clubs to also get training compensation and/or solidarity payments? Is this “double dipping” or getting paid twice to develop youth, or is this a system we should consider embracing – possibly phasing out high family costs? 

What are Solidarity Payments in US Soccer?

From MLSsoccer.com: “Under the FIFA Regulations, any time that a professional player is transferred (whether on a temporary or on a permanent basis) from a club in one FIFA member association (i.e., a federation) to a club in another federation during the course of his contract, up to five percent of the transfer fee is to be withheld and paid by the club receiving the player proportionally to the club(s) involved in that player’s training during the years between his 12th and 23rd birthdays. Unlike Training Compensation, which is only paid for players who have not yet reached the end of their age-23 season, Solidarity Payments will be due for the duration of a player’s professional career, any time he is transferred between federations while under contract and a transfer fee is paid.”

What are Your Thoughts?

This is an issue with lots of arguments and interesting positions. Any time money is at the center, things like Training Compensation and Solidarity payments are going to be contentious. 

Is it time to embrace a more European style of funding the game? Should we consider instead Norway’s model? How else do you think the US game should evolve to meet the challenges of the 2026 US-based World Cup? 

Let’s keep the conversation going! https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/

Resources Recent COVID Related News: Recent DA Related News: Solidarity Payments: