The framework of satellite clubs

The framework of satellite clubs and the potential it provides for clubs that do not have a B team was the subject recently addressed by Natacha Soares, consultant of BAS and associate of the APDD (Portuguese Sports Law Association), in the newspaper O Jogo, which we reproduce here.

A football club (the sponsoring club) that does not have a B team can create a new satellite club or enter into a sponsorship agreement with another club that plays in a lower division (sponsored clubs or satellite clubs). This agreement shall be valid for at least two sports seasons. Each club can only have one satellite relationship.

The agreements may provide for rules of close cooperation between the two clubs, opening up the possibility of transferring players between both clubs, within the limits set out in the sports regulations.

According to the applicable regulations, during each sporting season the sponsoring club may use, without limitation, professional players up to the age of 21 and up to three players above that age, registered in the satellite club, by the legal figure of a temporary transfer.

Potentials for all stakeholders

These agreements involve a number of advantages for stakeholders and players. Players loaned by the sponsoring club may have the opportunity to compete, maintain or regain their sporting fitness and gain experience. The satellite club can have access to players that otherwise they could never sign, possibly without paying their salary or paying only a part of these costs. Players on loan from the satellite club can experience the training and competition experience of a higher division.

In order to guarantee the transparency and impartiality of the competitions, the fate of these clubs is linked, insofar as the satellite club cannot compete in the same division of the sponsoring club, so if it is relegated to the satellite club’s division, the satellite club will also be relegated regardless of its classification.

Although the creation of satellite clubs is not frequent, and that some experiences in the past didn’t succeed, it seems to be an interesting figure and with a lot of potential for clubs that do not have B team.

Natacha Soares

APDD Associate n.º 240

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