The last years has seen the European Commission being put under
increasing pressure to enforce EU State aid law in sport. For example, numerous
Parliamentary questions have been asked by Members of the European Parliament regarding
alleged State aid to sporting clubs. In
reply to this pressure, on 21 March 2012, the European Commission, together
with UEFA, issued a statement. More...
Football-wise, 2014 will not only be remembered for the
World Cup in Brazil. This year will also determine the credibility of UEFA’s
highly controversial Financial Fair Play
(FFP) Regulations. The FFP debate will soon be reaching a climax, since up to 76 European
football clubs are facing sanctions by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
On 10 April, the ASSER Sports Law Centre had the honour of welcoming Prof. Weatherill (Oxford University) for a thought-provoking lecture.
In his lecture, Prof. Weatherill outlined to what extent the rules of Sports Governing Bodies enjoy legal autonomy (the so-called lex sportiva) and to what extent this autonomy could be limited by other fields of law such as EU Law. The 45 minutes long lecture lays out three main strategies used in different contexts (National, European or International) by the lex sportiva to secure its autonomy. The first strategy, "The contractual solution", relies on arbitration to escape the purview of national and European law. The second strategy, is to have recourse to "The legislative solution", i.e. to use the medium of national legislations to impose lex sportiva's autonomy. The third and last strategy - "The interpretative or adjudicative solution"- relies on the use of interpretation in front of courts to secure an autonomous realm to the lex sportiva.
On March 27, 2014, a Brazilian
court ruling authorized the
Football Players’ Union in the State of Sao Paulo
to tap funds generated by TV rights agreements destined to a Brazilian Club,
Comercial Futebol Clube (hereinafter “Comercial”). The Court came to this
decision after Comercial did not comply with its obligation to pay players’ salaries. It is a peculiar
decision when taking into account the global problem of clubs overspending and
not complying with their financial obligations. Furthermore, it could create a precedent for
future cases regarding default by professional sporting clubs.
In the same week that saw Europe’s best eight teams compete in the
Champions League quarter finals, one of its competitors received such a severe
disciplinary sanction by FIFA that it could see its status as one of the
world’s top teams jeopardized. FC Barcelona, a club that owes its success both
at a national and international level for a large part to its outstanding youth academy, La Masia, got to FIFA’s attention for breaching FIFA
Regulations on international transfers of minors. More...
Nearly twenty years after the European Court of
Justice declared in the Bosman case that all professional athletes
within the EU were given the right to a free transfer at the end of their contracts,
the Spanish Tribunal Supremo
provided a judgment on 26 March 2014 that will heighten
a new debate on the rights of professional athletes once their contract expires.
Today the ASSER International Sports Law Centre is very pleased to unveil its new blog. Not so surprisingly, it will cover everything you need to know on International Sports Law: Cases, Events, Publications. It will also feature short academic commentaries on "hot topics".
This is an interactive universe. You, reader, are more than welcome to engage with us via your comments on the posts, or a message through the contact form (we will answer ASAP).
This is an exciting development for the Centre, a new dynamic way
to showcase our scholarly output and to engage with the sports law world. We
hope you will enjoy it and that it will push you to come and visit us on our
own playing field in The Hague.
With sporting regards,