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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 15 Issue: 11
(November 2017)


FIFPro, the global organisation representing professional football players, and FIFA jointly announced in a 6 November 2017 press release that the two organisations have concluded a six year cooperation agreement to strengthen relationships between the two organisations and improve the governance of professional football following an 18 month period of negotiation between FIFA and football’s key stakeholders. As a ‘consequence’ of this cooperation agreement, the press release states that FIFPro has dropped its complaint to the European Commission (‘EC’), which challenged the legality of the post-Bosman transfer market system and FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. / read more

Questions have been raised as to whether the Premier League’s rules governing football club ownership need to be reformed following concerns relating to club financing arising out of the ‘Paradise Papers’ data leak which came to light on 5 November 2017, which allegedly includes documents relating to the buying and selling of shares in two football clubs by two businessmen involved in a joint venture. The 13.4 million documents leaked from law firm Appleby and made public by German news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung, dubbed the Paradise Papers, have sparked a call for changes to the rules intended to safeguard the independent ownership of Premier League clubs and specifically the rules prohibiting ‘dual ownership’ of clubs that could threaten the integrity of football competitions. / read more


Dan Chapman, Partner and Head of Sport at Leathes Prior, dissects the recent ruling by the London South Employment Tribunal in Duncan Culley v. Whitehawk Football Club, analyses the importance of the Tribunal’s decision to hear Culley’s complaint on the employment status of non-league footballers, and shares his views on the possible wider impact of the ruling. / read more

In recent years, issues arising from transgender and intersex inclusion in sport have attracted a great deal of attention and debate amongst sports governing bodies, athletes, journalists and lawyers. With the International Association of Athletics Federations’ Hyperandrogenism Regulations still suspended and the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport yet to be decided, Kristen Worley’s human rights application to a provincial-level administrative tribunal in Canada provides some valuable insight into how policies and guidelines directed at sex transitioned athletes may change in future. David Spears, Mario Torres and Jay Kim of Wyllie Spears Labour Lawyers, assess Worley v. Ontario Cycling Association et al, and the recent developments regarding inclusivity in sport. / read more

On 3 August 2017, two American lower tier soccer clubs, Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC (collectively, ‘Claimants’), filed complaints against FIFA, CONCACAF and the US Soccer Federation (‘USSF’) with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’). The Claimants seek to force the USSF to move from a ‘closed league model’ to an ‘open league model’ that would introduce promotion and relegation to the US for the first time, as Paul J. Greene and Matthew D. Kaiser of Global Sports Advocates explain. / read more

When the Union of European Football Associations (‘UEFA’) embarked on its mission to inject financial stability into European club football the prospect of controlling costs, specifically player acquisition costs, appeared daunting. Unable, or perhaps unwilling, to impose a cap or tax on excessive transfer fees and player salaries, UEFA imposed a licensing system that clubs were required to satisfy in order to compete in UEFA competitions. Some commentators at the time criticised UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (‘FFP’) Regulations on the basis that the choice to impose accounting rules rooted in internationally accepted principles would not limit the growth of player salaries and transfer fees and costs would continue to spiral out of control. Juan de Dios Crespo Pérez and Paolo Torchetti of Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo Sports Lawyers, present their views on why the FFP regime is not broken, in light of the criticism levelled at the sizable amounts changing hands during the 2017 summer transfer window, and pose a possible modification to the FFP Regulations that UEFA might want to consider in order to address the competitive balance issue. / read more

The international football industry and the term ‘governance’ have become intrinsically associated with one another over the past decade. In what feels like a weekly occurrence, we seem to continually read media headlines with the latest governance issue affecting local, national and international football clubs and governing bodies, with each crisis seemingly causing more damage to the game. The spotlight on football governance issues and the need for this important area to be drastically improved is indicative of how football has become viewed as a corporate entity. Dr Sara Ward, MBA & Executive Programmes Director, a sport governance academic at Manchester Metropolitan University, provides insight into the governance crisis within football. Sara examines the reforms being brought in and shares her thoughts on UK Sport’s Code of Sport Governance and how a similar code for football governance issued by the key governing bodies responsible for the financial safekeeping of the game with the threat of point deductions or transfer embargoes could, arguably, have the desired effect of creating change within the industry. / read more

About World Sports Advocate

The monthly law publication providing guidance on all aspects of sports law, including licensing and sports data, anti-doping and doping sanctions, TV and broadcasting rights, sport technology, players agents, disciplinary measures, sports integrity, sports betting, player contracts, intellectual property, transfer regulations, sports sponsorship and marketing, and governance, as well as coverage of key legal cases, sporting regulations and governing bodies including the IOC, UEFA and FIFA and sporting events such as London 2012. / read more

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