Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic elite footballers have come under pressure to cut their salaries to help fund the NHS and grassroots football in the UK, but Francis argues this request is unfair based on the conditions of their employment.
Writing in the Guardian, Francis - who played in the Belgian leagues in the 00s before becoming an agent - outlines why the unique makeup of a footballer’s contract means that a salary cut is problematic at best.
“A “regular” worker is able to leave his or her employer in exchange for limited compensation or a notice period,” Francis explained.
“Also the employer can terminate the relationship with the worker at any time by respecting a period of notice or paying compensation. If clubs sign a player they take a risk by paying a transfer or signing-on fee and by paying substantial wages.
“In exchange for this risk, players cannot leave the club before the end of the contract except when all involved parties agree otherwise. Players also know that during the contractual term they can be sure the club will pay their salary. ”
“Clubs now asking to reduce player salaries undermine this principle of contractual stability. If clubs insist on a wage reduction, players should be put in the same situation as any regular worker. Clubs reducing their players’ wages should accept that the players can terminate their employment for free and these clubs should no longer be able to ask a transfer fee if the player would like to leave.”