On Tuesday, the newly formed European League of Football Players Association (ELFPA) made its first official statement two weeks after the organization held its first players meeting on October 29th. Their debut meeting gathered more than 40 members, most of whom were key players from the league’s inaugural season.
The players union is based out of Switzerland and will comprise three different branches; a general assembly, a board of directors, and an executive office.
The association will work alongside the Josh Davis Player Advice Service (JDPAS). JDPAS is a service founded by ‘Tales From Sport‘ aiming to connect players by sharing information regarding various experiences playing American football in Europe. Currently, the association’s primary focus is on recruiting more members.
Upholding the motto “Support. Protect. Empower.”, the ELFPA is focused on providing representation and promoting the interests of all current and former ELF players.
“The players’ association’s main purpose is to promote all players of the ELF and to bring their interests into the further development of the league, as well as to promote, improve and maintain the relations and the exchange between the different players in the league. “
Additionally, the organization emphasized its open frustrations with team management, specifically with the Frankfurt Galaxy, led by former players Kadel King, Desmond Cooper, and Omari Williams. They’d also clarify that their mission is a way for players to help each other navigate this new and expanding league through all of the challenges they may encounter on the road ahead.
“The ELFPA is intended to be an information and exchange platform for the players of the ELF in order to ensure promising cooperation with the league and the teams and to offer support in the development of an optimal environment for the players as well as the teams and the league. The association is completely controlled by the players and the decisions of the players association are made by players for players.”
The association has made it clear that their goal is to work with team and league management and not make enemies with the recently established league.
“The establishment of the players’ association is in no way to be understood as an attack or the like on the league. On the contrary, it is a great concern of the association to start goal-oriented and professional cooperation, which is why it was informed about the establishment of the association and why talks with the league are being sought. All in all, the players’ association was founded with the intention of making the league even better and to play a supporting role in its development, taking into account the players’ interests, so that professionalization can continue to progress.”
They would add that more information regarding the newly formed union will come as they continue growing and developing.
“Due to the ongoing establishment of contacts with involved and responsible persons as well as the ongoing development and expansion of the players’ association, further information will follow at a later date. The players’ association will accordingly strive to provide ongoing information.”
As many know, the importance of an official players union for a professional sports league cannot be stressed enough. With the ELF currently in the middle of their offseason, with contract negotiations and front office moves happening regularly among the league’s twelve teams, it’ll be interesting to see what type of impact the ELFPA will have moving forward.