What is a Free Agency in Russian Soccer?
Ufa is the largest city of the autonomous Republic of Bashkortostan. It lies on the bank of the Belaya (White) River near the town of Mogulai. During the early times of the Mongol Empire, their biggest city was also located here, bashgirdt. When the Cossacks came, they set up their fortress here and during their rule, the city saw various advancements in architecture. Nowadays, the city is a modern metropolis that houses many stores, restaurants, clubs and other recreational facilities for its residents.
The Ufa city center was the main crossroad between Europe and Asia when it was established. At that time, there were railroads and steamships that brought people and products to the regions where they wanted to go. Today, people still use these modes of transportation to cross through Chechnya or Kalmykia. The railway system connecting Ufa and other Russian cities was built by the SS aristocracy and continued until the Khrushchevs took over after World War II. Today, it is the biggest crossroads between Europe and Asia, which provide direct transport between Ufa and Moscow.
As for the clubs in Ufa, they are governed by a special board called “Kontroll”. The club president is called the “Malkashkova”, and all other Ufa free agents are called” Zakonins” (agents). They are allowed to enter into contracts with other clubs in the Ufa region only if they have been given permission by the board. All other players and non-free agents are not permitted to play in the league.
The “qualifying Erfa Tender” is an important document in Russian soccer. It determines the number of foreign players who are allowed to register in the league. In the previous decades, the numbers of players registered in the league was very limited, and the league administration often chose national teams over other clubs. However, in 2021, following the second World Cup in the Ufa region, there were twenty-two teams in the league; today there are more than one hundred. Each club has one representative in the playoffs, called “EPSL” (Exhibition Series). A foreign free agent can negotiate with other teams, but the original team has the option to match any contract offer made by a free agent representing the club that has the higher number of points.
The “qualifying Offer Sheet” is a document that contains the complete list of players registered in the league. Once the player accepts an offer sheet, he becomes the exclusive signor of that contract, i.e., he becomes bound to the club for a specified period of time. This contract lasts for one season, or for one year, whichever is applicable according to the rules of the governing body. The “qualifying offer sheet” may be presented to the players or owners during the MLS Super Draft, held in April. After this draft, new contracts will be presented to the unrestricted free agents representing prospective clubs.
Another document called the “Free Agency Transfer Sheet” is used by the players or owners to decide if they want to sign a contract offer by a particular free agent who is representing a rival club. If a player or owner confirms his/her acceptance of a contract offered by a free agent, he becomes the exclusive signor to that contract. If a player or owner does not want to sign the deal, he/she has the choice to negotiate with the free agent directly. Once a deal is signed between a player or an owner and a free agent, the player or owner is no longer obligated to the club that originally signed the deal.