Roberto Branco Martins
General Counsel | EFAA
Mr. Roberto Carlos Branco Martins obtained a degree in Dutch Law from the University of Amsterdam (2003) with a specialization in European Private Law. During his studies, he worked at a recruitment and selection office for lawyers, along with an internship at a legal consultancy active in the international practice of professional football. His experience in this field, coupled with his thesis on the “The first European CAO in professional football”, led him to work for the Federation of Professional Football (FBO), the employers’ organization of Dutch professional football. Here, he served as the European Affairs manager and developed two projects that were awarded funding by the European Commission. His research for these projects contributed to the creation of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Professional Football (2008), which is tasked with analyzing employment in the professional football sector across the EU. During his research for these two projects, Branco Martins came into contact with the TMC Asser Institute, where he accordingly led various research initiatives on international sports law. This research focused on the application of EU collaboration within sport disciplines, particularly regarding sport governance in football, cycling, and basketball.
After working for a year at an Amsterdam–based law firm, Branco Martins joined Pro Agent, the representative association for Dutch players’ agents in professional football, where he continues to serve as an advisor for the organization. At Pro Agent, he assisted in the introduction of the quality certificate for organizations of intermediaries. This certificate ensures the professionalism and reliability of intermediaries/players’ agents within the respective collective agent association. Furthermore, Branco Martins co–founded and acts as General Counsel of the European Football Agents Association (EFAA), an international body representing the collective interests of players’ agents. He is a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, where he teaches a course on EU Labour Law within the Master’s in Labour Law programme. In 2017, he received his PhD from Edge Hill University, while his thesis explored the impact of social dialogue in the European professional football sector from a legal perspective. He continues to serve as a researcher for Edge Hill’s Center for Sports Law Research.