Breaking down the barriers: How Europe is adapting to Bosman

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Austria

Pre-Bosman

In one of the more recent EU recruits, clubs are already allowed to field more than three foreigners each, providing a traditional haven for east Europeans

Post-Bosman

The ns are set to scrap all restrictions on players from other EU countries although their clubs are likely to continue scouring Yugoslavia and the rest of eastern Europe

Major effects

A serious potential loss of income through transfers abroad. FC Tirol striker Harald Cerny is due to join 1860 Munich in July for pounds 650,000, having gone there on loan this season for pounds 115,000.

Speech marks

'Why should we pay a fee for Cerny? In July, he will become a free agent and cost us only the signing on bonus.' - Spokesman for 1860 Munich

Future

Likely to become even more of a nursery for the big Bundesliga clubs. Only a run in Europe will generate enough income to enable clubs to hold on to star players

Belgium

Complicated system which led to the Bosman case. If clubs failed to agree on a fee, the selling club could hold on to him against his will and cut his wages

Existing system in place until 15 March, when it is likely to be scrapped to allow players to leave clubs at the end of their contract if the new offer is inferior

Much more flexibility of movement between Belgian clubs, especially in first and second divisions. Players will negotiate with their clubs from a position of greater strength

'This judgment offers more opportunities for work for everyone. Until now we had a system which was not logical. It was archaic.' - Jean-Marc Bosman

Belgian players will be expected to move more freely within the EU, especially as Belgian clubs are unlikely to be able to compete with wages on offer elsewhere

England

Every transfer, whether players are under contract or not, is subject to a mutually agreed fee. If the clubs cannot agree, the fee is decided by an independent tribunal.

Not many changes are anticipated, though more players, once they are out of contract, may exercise their right to go elsewhere if their clubs offer them worse terms

The restriction on the number of players from other EU countries has been scrapped, and many more foreigners, often average players, are flooding into the English game

'Young players are no longer assets to the club. We could have a world-beater and as soon as he's 18 he could walk out and there would be nothing we could do about it.' - Barry Fry, Birmingham City manager

A loophole which allows a player to circumvent the system by leaving his club when out of contract, 'parking' himself briefly at a club overseas, then returning to a different English club, may need to be plugged

France

Transfer fees are only due for players still under contract. The player can conduct his own negotiations

No real changes likely, though in theory more EU nationals could come into France. In reality, recruits are more likely to come from traditional sources - Africa and eastern Europe

The internal transfer market has already shrunk over the last two or three years. It may have levelled out though a few more star players could be tempted abroad

'Nothing much is going to change in French football. Our clubs do not have a lot of money to pay out on big new contracts for players.' - French Football Federation spokesman

France is likely to hold on to its contractual system for young players. Schoolboys are signed on long-term contracts until they are 24 and fees are only due if they are transferred in the interim

Germany

No side has been allowed to field more than three foreigners regardless of whether they are from the EU or outside.Transfers were not allowed except during the mid-winter break

The three-foreigner rule is likely to relate only to non-EU citizens from next season. A decision on Germany's reaction to Bosman is expected next month

All transfer fees could soon be abolished, and it is widely feared that this might drive many of the smaller clubs out of existence

'It is only a matter of time before a German Bosman takes a case to a labour court and wins. Article 48 in the Treaty of Rome is identical to German law.' - Reinhard Rauball, former Borussia Dortmund president

The Germans are also worried about players 'parking' themselves at foreign clubs to avoid transfer fees. Thomas Helmer recently went from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich for free via a French club

Holland

The domestic transfer system was already creaking before Bosman. Apart from a few clubs who became rich through selling players overseas, there was little money available for transfers

The Dutch federation have a meeting on Thursday to decide how they will proceed. They are expected to agree to scrap transfer fees between Dutch clubs from 1 July

If transfer fees are scrapped, clubs will have more financial clout (helped by their share of the latest TV deal), when negotiating with players who might otherwise push for a move abroad

'All of those in Italy could play in England. I'm not joking - all of them. But there are not many players here I would consider for Serie A' - the Dutchman Ruud Gullit compares Europe's two strongest leagues

As long as Ajax and the other leading clubs carry on doing well in Europe, then the haemorrhaging of home-grown talent may be contained, if not curtailed

Italy

The world's biggest transfer market until challenged recently by England. Hitherto, clubs were restricted to fielding no more than three non-Europeans

No limits on the number of players from other EU countries. A two-player restriction still applies to non-EU citizens

As power shifts to the players and agents, the days of huge transfer fees may be over. Ten-year contracts, particularly for younger players, may become more common

'There are likely to be so many changes as a result of this ruling, it will be very difficult to predict what is going to happen. More Africans, South Americans and east Europeans will play in Italy.' - Serie A spokeswoman

It will not take leading clubs long to work their way round the new conventions. Milan, for example, have discussed a player- exchange system with Manchester United

Scotland

Similar internal transfer system to England, though there were no restrictions on the number of foreign players clubs could sign or play

No immediate changes are anticipated, although the Scottish FA is monitoring developments and following the latest advice from Uefa

Rangers and Celtic will continue to dominate the domestic transfer market, snapping up most of the talent from the poorer clubs and signing even more overseas players

'Given the standard of our football, an exodus isn't going to be a problem. We haven't exactly put a lot of players on to the continent in recent years.' - Geoff Brown, St Johnstone chairman

Transfers to England and from Ireland are unlikely to be greatly affected. The threat to the smaller clubs has been largely avoided because so many of them are already semi- professional

Spain

Spain has numerous non-EU players, many of whom stay in Spain and ultimately take up citizenship. Foreign players could only be bought up to the middle of January

The likely scrapping of the foreigners rule is going to benefit Spanish clubs more than most with their abundance of South American and east European talent

Unclear. Real Madrid's star striker Raul recently decided to stay at the club and reject offers of a 10-year contract with an Italian club

'Real Madrid could play Redondo, Petkovic and Zamorano as their three foreigners alongside Michael Laudrup, who is now an

unregulated EU national.' Keir Radnedge, of World Soccer

Spain's usefulness to Italian clubs as a loan repository for their unsettled players may recede as Spanish clubs find they can compete on a more equal basis in the open market

Sweden

The Swedish authorities handle more than 20,000 transfers a year, but in fewer than 50 is the rule invoked that allows a club to hold on to a player for a year after he has decided to move to another club

First and second division clubs have agreed to reduce the transfer embargo period. Now, as soon as a player is out of contract, he can play for another club immediately

There are now no restrictions on the number of EU players who can sign for one club. However, no club may sign more than three non-EU citizens

'We were planning some changes before the Bosman ruling. It is obviously fair to allow a player who doesn't have a contract to play for a new club without a fee having to be paid.' Swedish FA spokesman

Even the richest Swedish clubs will still be left behind as their best players continue to attract better offers from clubs in England, Italy and elsewhere

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