Professional Contracts in Japan - Unique classification of contracts for professional players

Professional Contracts in Japan - Unique classification of contracts for professional players
There are three kinds of contracts for professional football players in the Japanese professional football league. Generally, professional football players have to start from the Professional C Contract, which lim its the player’s salary to JPY 4,600,000 (approx. EUR 34,000), and they aim to step up to next level contracts, i.e. Professional B Contract and Professional A Contract. As it seems that such a system is not commonly adopted in the major European football leagues, this article will explain the general outline of the system and argue the pros and cons of the system

I - Brief Overview of Japanese Football Structure

In Japan, the professional football league managed by Japan Professional Football League (J.LEAGUE) started in 1993. J.LEAGUE is a separate organization from the Japanese football national federation, i.e. Japan Football Association (JFA). The league started with one league with ten clubs, but J.LEAGUE introduced the second division in 1999 and the third division in 2014. Currently, three professional football leagues, J1 LEAGUE, J2 LEAGUE and J3 LEAGUE, are operated by J.LEAGUE. Also, the highest division of the amateur football league is called Japan Football League (JFL).

II - Regulations on Professional Contracts

1. Three categories of professional contract

Although J.LEAGUE has its own rules and regulations, the matters regarding the contract, registration and transfer of players are subject to the Regulations on the Contract,...

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