DocuSign aiming to bring football "into the 21st century"

Fifpro, the world football player’s union, held a meeting of its 29-member European division in Greece earlier this week to address serious failures in the current FIFA football transfer system.

According to secretary general Theo van Seggelen, around 4,000 players file cases with FIFA either because their club has not paid them, or the club has unjustly terminated their contract.

Electronic signature firm DocuSign is one organisation trying to inspire change to bring the football transfer system into the 21st Century.

At the Fifpro meeting, VP EMEA Jesper Frederiksen said: “Fifpro has called this extraordinary meeting to force the issue of transfer system reform.

"FIFA has been historically slow when it comes to introducing reforms, both on and off the pitch. Goal-line technology and vanishing spray were long debated but have revolutionised the game since their introduction.

"Now it is time for the technology behind the scenes of football to be brought into the 21st century.

"There are too many instances where paperwork has slowed down or completely stopped player transfers, such as Yevhen Konoplyanka’s missed signature for Liverpool FC in 2014.

"The transfer system is outdated and reliant on archaic technology like fax machines and pen and paper. The topics under debate, such as the delayed signings of contracts to put pressure on players, have solutions which lie in technology.

"This extraordinary meeting needs to establish basic principles for transfers, update the technology behind the scenes and make the whole process more streamlined for players, clubs and managers.

"DocuSign calls on the football industry to take the ugly business out of the beautiful game."

Other high-profile examples of paperwork slowing down or stopping signings include: Tottenham Hotspur missing out on Porto’s Joao Moutinho in 2012, Manchester United's failed attempt to land Fabio Coentrao in 2013 and Arsenal’s last-gasp signing of Andrey Arshavin in 2009.

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