Regulation of the activities carried out by sports agents in Bulgaria

From the one hand, the results of the Study on Sports Agents in the EU, which was commissioned by the EC and carried out by a consortium composed of KEA European Affairs, EOSE and the CDES, show that there is a specific legislative text applicable to sports agents in Bulgaria (cf. the Law on Sport and Physical Activity, article 35d in connection with articles 35b & 35c). However, in order to obtain a permit to operate as a sports agent – as far as remunerated job placement activities are concerned – registration is required in accordance with the provisions laid down by the Law on the Promotion of Employment. This law establishes certain terms and conditions for exercising the profession (contract and remuneration) as well as sanctions.

Study on Sports Agents in the EU – see pages 166-167 & 212-213.

On the other hand, however, the Minster of Labor of Bulgaria is of the opinion that the services provided by the sports agents in Bulgaria (particularly in the football and volleyball fields) are outside of the scope of the Law on the Promotion of Employment and its Regulations for application as well as Convention no. 181. In other words, the activities carried out by the sports agents in Bulgaria in relation with the acquiring and transferring of the players’ so-called “competitive rights” (commonly known as “federative rights”, which is different from the concept of “registration rights”), as defined in article 35d in connection with articles 35b & 35c of the Law on Sport and Physical Activity, is not to be considered as remunerated job placement activities, as opposed to what the FIFA & BFU & BVF Players’ Agents Regulations provide for.

It is noteworthy that the Law on Sport and Physical Activity in Bulgaria (latest ed. July 2010) still relies upon the concept of the so-called “competitive rights”, which was abolished by the “Bosman” judgment rendered by the European Court of Justice in 1995 for being a very serious obstacle for the freedom of movement of workers (athletes) within the EU and thus, illegal. In this respect, it is notable that the Minster of Sports, Mr. Svilen Neykov, recently announced that he wants to strengthen the importance and application of the concept of the so-called “competitive rights”, which, as I already stated hereinabove, is illegal within the EU.

Letter from the Minster of Labor