Author(s) Carlos Vítor Silva Batista
Advisor(s) Teresa Alexandra Coelho Moreira
Year 2012

Synopsis This dissertation, ««Minimum fee release clauses» in labor sporting contracts», aims to analyze the concept of «minimum fee release clause» from a historical and legal perspective. Taking as a reference the sportsmen rights, as workers, we will analyze how sports labor relationships can be affected by the contractual apposition of the above mention clause. Studying this is important to understand how the labor relationship of sportsmen has developed until today and to preview its future development. Therefore, it is important to comprehend if the limits imposed by the «minimum fee release clauses» are admissible considering the labor relationship in its background. In order to do so, it is necessary to know the law nature and historical evolution of these clauses, so we can try to realize if their coexistence with workers’ rights, main labor law principles, and the labor law itself is possible. The problem assumes a new dimension since the «minimum fee release clauses» became trendy and are used (at least in Portugal) in the major number of sporting labor contracts (particularly in football), and therefore having broad publicity. Hence, we researched documentation, such as: legal texts, legal doctrine and judicial decisions regarding Labor Law (particularly its sporting branch), as well as sports law, in order to establish connections between them and, thereby, attain some answers. As a result of our study, we managed to provide a framework for the problems we had previously described, both in Portuguese and other systems of Law from abroad, particularly Spanish, where the «minimum fee release clauses» were born. From there, we were able to ascertain what measures should be taken in order to make the system evolve from the existing «as is» to the desired «should be». From there, taking reality in consideration, we tried to achieve the solution that, in our point of view, would be the ideal, and which path the relationship between sports and labor, should take. Even though there has been positive developments in some subjects regarding labor sporting contracts extinction – in order to provide workers more freedom – there is still a huge path that must be travelled, not only because of the need for Legal certainty but, also, in order to protect the workers’ rights. While focusing on «minimum fee release clauses», this work main goal is to contribute to that discussion.

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