Cofece’s approach is: Gentlemen’s Agreement prohibits competition in the player transfer market and sets salary caps on women’s wages
Mexico City-The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) reported on Thursday that 17 clubs of the MX League, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and 8 people were fined 177.6 million pesos (approximately US$88 million) due to monopolistic practices. The agency regulates domestic free competition.
In Mexico, the second practice is known as “Pacto de Caballeros”. This unwritten rule stipulates that players can only sign with a team if they have the consent of their former employer. This practice was canceled in April 2018. The players threatened to end the game if the situation did not change.
According to Cofece, clubs colluded with each other to curb competition in the player transfer market, including setting wage caps on women’s wages and establishing mechanisms to prevent players from freely negotiating.
A local league player has one day to conclude a new contract. The team owner met the players on the day of the “draft”, or local transfer system.
The club used to require payment of training fees before changing jerseys. This agreement also stipulates that players cannot move abroad to sign with any other team, and must pay training fees.
They currently have two weeks in which to sign new contracts.
Cofece says that these practices occurred between 2008-2018.
Liga MX and FMF issued joint statements accepting sanctions and clarifying that the practices had been eliminated.
The sanctioned clubs include the Americas, Pachuca, Cruz Azul, Chivas, Santos, Tigres, Cougars, Monterey, Necasa, Tijuana, Atlas, Leon, Querétaro and Puebla, except for Atlanta from the Development League, is currently in the first division.
The agency said in a statement: “During the investigation initiated by Cofece in 2018, until the corresponding resolution was issued, the FMF and the club cooperated with the authorities to conduct the investigation.” “The FMF and the club reiterated their commitment to abide by rather than challenge the COFECE release Resolutions and are responsible for the sanctions enacted in them.”
They also promised to work to improve the process in order to prevent any relapse to potentially dangerous practices.
Leaders agreed to a cap on players’ salaries in 2016. Only four players per team were allowed to earn 15,000 pesos ($750 per month).
These rules were also repealed in May 2019.