Further to our recent update on the upcoming changes to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”), the FIFA Stakeholders Committee met last week (27 February 2020) and agreed further proposals for the reform of the transfer system. A copy of the FIFA press release can be found here. (more…)
From 6 April 2020, if a company uses an individual / a contractor (usually through a personal service company (“PSC”)) who provides services to a company then the onus will be on the company to assess whether an individual working through a PSC would have been regarded as an employee if they were engaged directly by the company (i.e. the fee payer) and not through a PSC. If, after an assessment, the answer is YES then it will usually be the company who will be obliged to deduct and account for income tax and NICs on the monies that it pays to the PSC (IR35 will be applicable). (more…)
Despite their facts relating to different industries, two recent Court of Appeal judgment have direct relevance to the fiduciary duties that football intermediaries owe to their clients (whether they be clubs and/or players) and provide helpful guidance relating to issues that are commonly encountered in disputes between intermediaries and clubs/players.
Interest in women’s football has grown steadily in recent years. Increased media and broadcast coverage is helping to attract a burgeoning fan base, higher attendances at matches and increased commercial opportunities for many clubs which operate a women’s team in English football.
The 2018/2019 season marks a new era for women’s football in England with ‘The FA Women’s Super League’ (‘WSL’) now operating on a professional basis with WSL clubs required to employ their players on full-time professional contracts.
Tennis stands out from many other sports in attracting comparable levels of public interest across both the men’s and the women’s game. However, the progression of women’s tennis has been somewhat hindered by a delay in the evolution and modernisation of its administrative rules and regulations. By way of example, it was not until 2007 that women became entitled to equal prize money across all four grand slams. Even now, there are examples of inconsistencies between the men’s and women’s games – prize money is only equal at the four grand slams and over a decade later, there remains a significant gender gap in earnings from the sport. Similarly, in 2018, the French player Alize Cornet was penalised at the US Open for briefly taking her shirt off on court as she had accidently put it on back to front, whilst men suffer no penalty for changing their shirts on court in between breaks.
Centrefield is proud to announce the inaugural publication of Sports Law from Getting the Deal Through along with lead co-editors Laffer Abagados of Spain. Together the firms have led the development and structure of this new publication, which brings together industry insight from many of the world’s leading sports lawyers.
Getting The Deal Through is is the original Q&A reference source of comparative law and regulation, providing international expert analysis in key areas of law covering 130 countries across 90 practice areas and industry sectors with a global coverage. The Sports Law publication is the first sports-specific industry guide within the Getting the Deal Through series and includes know-how from industry experts across 13 jurisdictions throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, as well as an analysis of the Court of Arbitration for Sport – currently the primary forum for resolving sporting disputes globally.
In a much-anticipated judgment, the Court of Appeal in The Director of the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd (‘ENRC’)  EWCA Civ 2006 has helpfully clarified the scope of litigation privilege and (reluctantly) also upheld the current definition of ‘client’ for the purposes of legal advice privilege.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment raises some important issues that individuals and companies, faced with the prospect of criminal or regulatory investigations/proceedings, should bear in mind before commencing internal investigations in order to ensure that litigation privilege can legitimately be claimed over any documentation or material that is created.
Centrefield has retained its position as a Top-Tier law firm for Sport within the latest Legal 500 rankings for sport in the North West and continues to be ranked among the leading firms in UK sport within both the Chambers and Legal 500 directories.
Chambers noted the firm’s “standout portfolio of clients” and that “The firm live and breathe sport”, with Legal 500 noting that Centrefield’s “specialist team” is “recommended for its work across a range of sports including rugby, swimming, golf, triathlon, cricket and cycling” and “with an especially strong record in football”. Chambers highlighted the firm’s breadth of capabilities, providing “advice on the full suite of commercial, regulatory and disputes matters, including anti-doping” with “considerable capability in relation to immigration and sponsorship matters.”
A new third tier European club competition looks to be on the horizon, with UEFA recently providing its initial approval for the new tournament, filling the gap left by the dissolution of Europe’s previous third tier continental tournament, the Cup Winners’ Cup, back in 1999.
Under the current proposal an additional 16 teams will have the opportunity to participate in UEFA club football, with the Europa League being reduced from 48 to 32 teams and the new tournament likewise featuring 32 teams. UEFA are also currently proposing that the new tournament be broadcast and sold online, a change that will no doubt concern television broadcasters given the current trend for greater online media consumption and the increasing competition from online companies in sports broadcasting.
For Clubs currently on the cusp of European football, a new tournament could provide not only the chance for European silverware, but potential commercial and brand building opportunities. Similarly for players and their representatives there may be possibilities to create additional value within players’ future playing and commercial arrangements. The following sets out some initial thoughts on the potential opportunities and issues a new tournament may bring: