Shakhtar Donetsk chief accuses football agents of 'exploiting the war in Ukraine' 1 week ago

Shakhtar Donetsk chief accuses football agents of 'exploiting the war in Ukraine'

Foreign players and coaches can suspend their contracts until June 30, 2023

Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has accused football agents of attempting to exploit the war in Ukraine and criticised a recent FIFA ruling regarding the sale of foreign players.

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As reported by The Athletic, Shakhtar are looking to sell a number of overseas players due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. However, a FIFA ruling has weakened their position in negotiating deals.

After the war began in February, FIFA imposed temporary regulations until the end of the season that allowed foreign players registered to Ukrainian clubs to move to another side. Now, a ruling by FIFA this week has extended this regulation by a further year.

A FIFA statement on Tuesday confirmed that foreign players and coaches contracted to Ukrainian clubs are allowed to suspend their contracts until June 30, 2023 due to the ongoing war in the country.

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Shakhtar have just one week to cash in on foreign players

However, there is an exception to the rule should a mutual agreement be found between a player/coach and their club by June 30 this year. This means that Shakhtar essentially have just one week to sell the foreign players that they may have hoped to move on and recoup funds for later in the window

The report adds that, according to Shakhtar chief executive Palkin, some agent had pre-empted FIFA's ruling and told clubs not to pay a transfer fee for foreign players at Shakhtar and instead just give the agents a major commission.

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He told The Athletic: "First of all, I think 95 per cent of Ukrainian players we will keep. Foreigners, I do not know yet. There are difficult negotiations.

"Some agents are destroying us. They are trying to steal players. They play games, contacting clubs, saying don’t pay us [Shakhtar] and deals are being broken. You cannot imagine what is going on.

"Agents are arriving to clubs and saying, 'Don’t pay Shakhtar, the players will become free, just pay me (the agent) €10m and forget about the club'.

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FIFA consulted key football stakeholders'

After FIFA's verdict on Tuesday, he added: "The power to decide on suspension of the contracts is now in the hands of players' agents. It doesn't reflect the club's intention to save players and investments.

"And we now basically have nine days to agree with our players their sale or loan to foreign clubs, which is just impossible. FIFA has not helped Ukrainian clubs by issuing regulations. On the contrary, it significantly worsened our negotiations with players and made agents even more powerful and richer."

FIFA told The Athletic that it had consulted "key football stakeholders" regarding the decision, adding that the European Club Association had been consulted and said that any "potential disputes arising from the decision will be dealt with by the relevant FIFA bodies".

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