On the 1st of December 2009 the Lisbon Treaty came into effect providing a legal basis for sports in the EU territory. Article 165 gives reference to amateur sports as well as professional sports and enables the EU to adopt measures and recommendations in the field of sport. This article emphasizes that those measures are to be taken in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure. What does this mean for professional sports, especially for ice hockey?
WAIPU is extremely critical concerning any transfer system who is not respecting the free movement of players and is penalising a player be it financially or otherwise if he wants to change club after the expiring period of a contract. WAIPU is of the opinion that clear international rules are necessary to avoid any national rules that would hinder a player to freely change a club after the expiring of his contract.
WAIPU has an extremely critical opinion about the practice of players’ agents in general. A number of those agents seems to place their own interests above those of the players they represent. An unnecessarily large amount of money disappears from professional hockey through agents. As of now, not the right attention was given to this problem. WAIPU feels that it is time for a completely new approach in this field and is ready to put in place a monitor system of agents. WAIPU wishes to set up together with IIHF a working group to tackle these problems.
WAIPU is of course opposed to doping in hockey. However, in practice it proves that doping cases are rare in hockey. WAIPU is opposed to the ‘whereabouts’ system which is disproportional in relation to its aims.
WAIPU advocates the protection of minors. WAIPU deems it desirable that players complete their hockey education at a club in their own country or region. In order to do so, they should preferably play for the first team of the club that has trained and educated them.
One of the main goals of WAIPU are to ensure that players receive their salary. The World Players’ Union requires and wants to further ensure that contracts be respected in full. For WAIPU, the fulfilment of a professional employment agreement between a club and a player is the primary requirement for professional hockey. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, different clubs have used this as an excuse or an argument to either not pay players or pay them less. WAIPU rejects this argument because it disrespects employment agreements.