Parliament adopted a report on the future of professional football in Europe, prepared by the Parliament's Committee on culture and education on 29 March 2007.
This own-initiative report, drafted by Belgian MEP Ivo Belet (EPP-ED), builds on the Independent European Football Review and aims to resolve the legal uncertainty surrounding football, tackle fraudulent practices and problems such as money- laundering, obscure investments, hooliganism and gambling as well as encourage more balanced competition.
The report refers to the existence of a 'European Football Model', which is characterised by a "symbiotic relationship between amateur and professional football" and states that the economic aspects of professional sport fall within the scope of the EC Treaty "taking into account the specificity of sport as set out in the Nice Declaration".
The Commission is asked to develop guidance and to specify under which conditions legitimate and adequate self-regulation is supported. The Commission is also asked to start a consultation process with European football authorities with the aim of setting up a formal framework agreement between the EU and football governing bodies.
Among other measures suggested by MEPs are the establishment of a collective insurance system for players (developed in co-operation with UEFA, FIFA and the European clubs and leagues) and collective selling of TV-rights.
With the report, the MEPs also want to stimulate professional football teams to invest more in their own talent instead of buying in foreign players.