Day 1: FIFA must regulate TPO, not ban it.
Day 2: Third-party entitlement to shares of transfer fees: problems and solutions
Day 3: The Impact of the TPO Ban on South American Football.
Day 4: Third Party Investment from a UK Perspective.
Day 5: Why FIFA's TPO ban is justified.
22 December 2014, FIFA officially introduced
an amendment to its Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players banning third-party ownership of players’
economic rights (TPO) in football. This decision to put a definitive end to the
use of TPO in football is controversial, especially in countries where
TPO is a mainstream financing mechanism for clubs, and has led the Portuguese
and Spanish football leagues to launch a complaint in front of the European
Commission, asking it to find the FIFA ban contrary to EU competition law.
Next week, we will feature a Blog Symposium
discussing the FIFA TPO ban and its compatibility with EU competition law. We
are proud and honoured to welcome contributions from both the complainant (the
Spanish football league, La Liga) and the defendant (FIFA) and three renowned
experts on TPO matters: Daniel Geey ( Competition lawyer at Fieldfisher, aka @FootballLaw), Ariel Reck (lawyer at
Reck Sports law in Argentina, aka @arielreck)
and Raffaele Poli (Social scientist and head of the CIES Football Observatory). The
contributions will focus on different aspects of the functioning of TPO and on
the impact and consequences of the ban. More...
On 21 January 2015, the Court of
arbitration for sport (CAS) rendered its award in the latest avatar of the Mutu case, aka THE sports law case that
keeps on giving (this decision might still be appealed to the Swiss Federal
tribunal and a complaint by Mutu is still pending in front of the European
Court of Human Right). The decision was finally published on the CAS website on
Tuesday. Basically, the core question focuses on the interpretation of Article
14. 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and
Transfer of Players in its 2001 version. More precisely, whether, in case of a dismissal of a player
(Mutu) due to a breach of the contract without just cause by the
player, the new club (Juventus and/or Livorno) bears the duty to pay the
compensation due by the player to his former club (Chelsea). Despite winning maybe
the most high profile case in the history of the CAS, Chelsea has been desperately
hunting for its money since the rendering of the award (as far as the US), but
it is a daunting task. Thus, the English football club had the idea to turn
against Mutu’s first employers after his dismissal in 2005, Juventus and
Livorno, with success in front of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC),
but as we will see the CAS decided otherwise. More...
'Can't fight corruption with con tricks
They use the law to commit crime
And I dread, dread to think what the future
When we're living in gangster time'
The Specials - Gangsters
The pressing need for change
Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of the Council of Europe (CoE), which is composed
of 318 MPs chosen from the national parliaments of the 47 CoE member states,
unanimously adopted a report entitled ‘the reform of
on January 27, 2015. A draft resolution on the report will be debated during the
PACE April 2015 session and, interestingly, (only?) FIFA’s president Sepp
Blatter has been sent an invitation.
The PACE report
highlights the pressing need of reforming the governance
of football by FIFA and UEFA respectively. Accordingly, the report contains
some interesting recommendations to improve FIFA’s (e.g., Qatargate) and
UEFA’s governance (e.g., gender representation). Unfortunately, it remains unclear
how the report’s recommendations will actually be implemented and enforced.
The report is a
welcomed secondary effect of the recent Qatargate directly involving former
FIFA officials such as Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer, and Mohamed Bin Hammam and
highlighting the dramatic failures of FIFA’s governance in putting its house in
order. Thus, it is undeniably time to correct the governance of football by FIFA
and its confederate member UEFA – nolens
volens. The real question is how to do it.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images Photograph:
to the legitimate excitement over the recent Pechstein
ruling, many have overlooked a previous German decision
rendered in the Wilhelmshaven SV case
(the German press did report on the decision here
The few academic commentaries (see here
focused on the fact that the German Court had not recognized the res judicata effect of a CAS award.
Thus, it placed Germany at the spearhead of a mounting rebellion against the legitimacy
of the CAS and the validity of its awards. None of the commentators weighed in
on the substance of the decision, however. Contrary to the Court in Pechstein, the judges decided to evaluate
the compatibility of the FIFA rules on training compensations with the EU free
movement rights. To properly report on the decision and assess the threat it
may constitute for the FIFA training compensation system, we will first
summarize the facts of the case (I), briefly explicate the mode of functioning
of the FIFA training compensation system (II), and finally reconstruct the
reasoning of the Court on the compatibility of the FIFA rules with EU law
The summer saga surrounding Luis
Suarez’s vampire instincts is long forgotten, even though it might still play a
role in his surprisingly muted football debut in FC Barcelona’s magic triangle.
However, the full text of the CAS award in the Suarez
case has recently be made available on CAS’s website and we want to grasp this
opportunity to offer a close reading of its holdings. In this regard, one has
to keep in mind that “the object of the appeal is not to request the complete
annulment of the sanction imposed on the Player” (par.33). Instead, Suarez and
Barcelona were seeking to reduce the sanction imposed by FIFA. In their eyes, the
four-month ban handed out by FIFA extending to all football-related activities
and to the access to football stadiums was excessive and disproportionate. Accordingly,
the case offered a great opportunity for CAS to discuss and analyse the
proportionality of disciplinary sanctions based on the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FIFA DC). More...
1. Antitrust/Competition Law and Sport
G Basnier, ‘Sports and competition law: the case of the salary
cap in New Zealand rugby union’, (2014) 14 The
International Sports Law Journal 3-4, p.155
R Craven, ‘Football and State aid: too important to fail?’ (2014) 14 The International Sports Law Journal 3-4, p.205
R Craven, ‘State Aid and Sports Stadiums: EU Sports Policy or
Deference to Professional Football’ (2014) 35 European Competition Law Review Issue 9,
2. Intellectual Property Rights in Sports law /
Betting rights/ Spectators’ rights/ Sponsorship Agreements
W T Champion and K
DWillis, Intellectual property law in the
sports and entertainment industries (Santa Barbara, California; Denver, Colorado;
Oxford, England: Praeger 2014)
and F Rizzo, Les contrats de sponsoring
sportif (Lextenso éditions 2014)
After Tuesday’s dismissal of Michael Garcia’s complaint
against the now infamous Eckert statement synthetizing (misleadingly in his
eyes) his Report on the bidding process for the World Cup 2018 and 2022, Garcia
finally decided to resign from his position as FIFA Ethics Committee member. On his way out, he
noted: “No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel
can change the culture of an organization”. It took Garcia a while to
understand this, although others faced similar disappointments before. One
needs only to remember the forgotten reform proposals of the Independent Governance
Committee led by Prof. Dr. Mark Pieth. More...
After the success of this year’s World Cup in Brazil, FIFA President
Sepp Blatter can start concentrating on his Presidential campaign for next
June’s FIFA elections. Even though the 78-year old Swiss is not officially a
candidate yet, he is still very popular in large parts of the world, and
therefore the favourite to win the race. Nonetheless, even for the highly
experienced Mr. Blatter these elections will be different. All candidates will
have to respect the newly introduced Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency. More...
The International Sports Law Digest will be a bi-annual post gathering recent material on International and European Sports Law. This is an attempt at providing a useful overview of the new, relevant, academic contributions, cases, awards and disciplinary decisions in the field of European and International Sports Law. If you feel we have overlooked something please do let us know (we will update the post).
Antoine Duval More...