If a player’s contract is considered to be an employment contract, several legal provisions become applicable even if nothing was agreed on them in the player contract.
A player contract is not always an employment contract. At Veikkausliiga level, for example, the player contracts of many players are employment contracts, but at the corresponding women’s level, many contracts are not correspondingly employment contracts.
A player contract is an employment contract, and it has the characteristics referred to in the Employment Contracts Act. It does not matter what the parties have agreed on the nature of the contract. Therefore, a provision in a player contract stating that “this contract is not an employment contract” is null and void if the player contract satisfies the characteristics of an employment contract.
A player contract is an employment contract if the following characteristics are satisfied:
The Employment Contracts Act is not applied to ordinary leisure activities in which it is up to the player to decide when to come to practices or matches and has no contractual obligations regarding it and is not obligated to follow anyone’s orders or paid money or other consideration for taking part in the activity.
If a player’s contract is considered to be an employment contract, several legal provisions become applicable even if nothing was agreed on them in the player contract. If the contract is not an employment contract, only the provisions written in the contract are primarily applicable. A player contract that is an employment contract by nature is subject to, for example, the Employment Contracts Act provisions on termination and cancellation, layoff, payment of salary and its amount, the Pay Security Act, Annual Holidays Act, Unemployment Security Act, etc.
In the Football Association of Finland’s rules and regulations, athletes are divided into professionals, amateurs and semi-amateurs. However, this classification is insignificant when assessing the type and nature of a player contract.