A European football Super League: the legal and practical issues

Dunbar, Neil (2021) A European football Super League: the legal and practical issues. James Cook University Law Review, 27. pp. 111-129.

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In 2021 football faced the possibility of a breakaway European Super League (ESL) being formed with the participation of 12 of Europe’s leading clubs. While the concept was not new, the reason for its re-emergence were the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with a number of leading clubs having American owners who tend to adopt a profit maximisation approach to running sports clubs. The quick demise of the proposed ESL because of a upporter backlash meant that some of the potential legal issues did not eventuate. However, if the ESL had proceeded, the governing bodies of the domestic leagues could have banned the participating clubs from playing in their competitions, and the leading clubs may have experienced contractual difficulties in requiringtheir players to play in the ESL. Although it may not be possible for UEFA to legally prevent the formation of a rival competition, it is argued that it would not be advantageous for UEFA to operate its own ESL. Australian sport has seen the formation of similar breakaway competitions, and the situation that occurred in European football this year is a reminder to governing bodies of the need to ensure that all stakeholders remain satisfied with how the sport is conducted.

Item ID: 70967
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1839-2792
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 22:29
FoR Codes: 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4804 Law in context > 480414 Sports law @ 50%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480304 European Union law @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1306 Sport, exercise and recreation > 130602 Organised sports @ 100%
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