Squire Patton Boggs

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Real Estate Law May Soon Play A Role In The Metaverse

This article originally appeared in Law360 on February 15, 2022. Authored by Alexis Montano, Real Estate Associate, Phoenix, AZ. The metaverse is a mix of augmented virtual reality that operates with the help of blockchain functions such as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. Think of the metaverse as a universe with several platforms making … Continue Reading

The FA v Marc Bola

On 3 September 2021, The FA announced that Marc Bola (“the Player”), of Middlesbrough FC, had been charged with misconduct for an alleged Aggravated Breach of the FA Rules, 2021/2022 (“the 2022 Rules”), rules E3.1 and E3.2 (“the Charge”). The Charge related to a Tweet the Player posted from his Twitter account on 14 April … Continue Reading

Andre Onana and UEFA’s Anti-Doping Regulations – A Cautionary Tale

Introduction Andre Onana, the first team goalkeeper for AFC Ajax (“Ajax”) and the Cameroon national team played his first competitive match for over nine 9 months on 13 November 2021, when he started for Cameroon in a 4:0 victory over Malawi in a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African Qualifier. Prior to this match, Onana had … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds For NCAA Student-Athletes on Antitrust Issues

NCAA student athletes are entitled to education-related benefits, such as paid post-graduate internships, scholarships for graduate school, tutors, laptops, science equipment, musical instruments, and annual awards for academic achievement up to $5,980. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for the unanimous Supreme Court ruling, holding that the now-former NCAA prohibition for such things violated antitrust … Continue Reading

The Future of Sports – Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

Sports as an industry has realised the potential that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies can bring to further monetise fan engagement, attract sponsors and engage a global market in ways that were unimaginable decades ago. Passionate fans, each a citizen of digital technology, consume sports and related content beyond the actual duration of a match. Teams, … Continue Reading

FIFA takes decisive action in strengthening women’s employment rights

In November, FIFA announced that its Stakeholders Committee (the “FSC”) had approved reforms aimed at strengthening employment rights for female players. These reforms offer necessary protections, such as guaranteed maternity leave, to all female football players playing for a club that is regulated by FIFA. At this stage the changes are only ‘proposed’, but they … Continue Reading

Nikolay Bodurov vs Esteghlal: FIFA DRC considers ‘force majeure’ effect of COVID-19

Following the near global suspension of football activity, many clubs were put in the unfortunate position of being unable to satisfy their existing contractual obligations as significant revenue streams from gate receipts, sponsorship and broadcast were all severely impacted. FIFA has recently published a decision which concerns the extent to which the global pandemic has … Continue Reading

Intermediaries and contractual certainty – lessons from Winlink Marketing Limited v The Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Grounds Limited

It’s no secret that gambling has become a huge part of football. With over £349 million in kit sponsorship being paid to Premier League football clubs in the 2019/20 season alone, it is clear that betting companies and the gambling sector as a whole make a significant contribution to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional … Continue Reading

Preparing the Pitch – England’s Return to Grassroots Football

On July 18, the English Football Association (the “FA”) announced plans for a ‘phased return’ to the pitch. For our American readers, the FA (formed in 1863) is the oldest football association in the world. It is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory, which includes England and … Continue Reading

The NFL Approves New Measures To The “Rooney Rule”

The NFL recently introduced new measures to expand what is colloquially known as the “Rooney Rule,” which was instituted to promote and encourage diversity hiring. Named after the late Dan Rooney – former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and chairperson of the National Football League’s (“NFL”) diversity committee – the Rooney Rule is a NFL … Continue Reading

How the top European football leagues are dealing with their 2019/20 seasons

Over the course of the last two months professional football across Europe has ground to a halt. In an attempt to lend some shape and certainty to the European football landscape, UEFA announced in April that all its European members had until 25 May to make a decision about their respective leagues. Some leagues have … Continue Reading

Partial Summary Judgment Granted to U.S Soccer

On Friday, May 1, 2020, Judge Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted partial summary judgment to U.S. Soccer in a pay equity class action lawsuit brought by members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. In his ruling, Judge Klausner dismissed the U.S. women’s argument that … Continue Reading

FIFA issues guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 related regulatory issues

On Tuesday, FIFA published a set of guidelines to address some of the practical issues that have arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. The key areas of focus were: (1) expiring agreements; (2) frustrated agreements; and (3) registration periods. A number of other issues were also considered in brief.   It is important … Continue Reading

Wales. Golf. Madrid. Esports. In that order? Gareth Bale sets up a new esports team

Last year, Sports Shorts reported on the opportunities for football clubs looking to get involved in the world of esports. Recent news indicates that other footballing stakeholders are also alive to these opportunities; earlier this month Real Madrid and Wales star Gareth Bale launched a new esports team called ‘Ellevens Esports’. Bale co-founded the new … Continue Reading

Shall we go Dutch? Belgian Pro League clubs mull over merger with Dutch Eredivisie

Last year, Sports Shorts reported on proposals for a combined Dutch and Belgian football league – a so-called ‘BeneLiga’. Talks of a merger appear to be gathering pace in the early part of this year, with Inside World Football reporting that a meeting recently took place between the Belgian and Dutch footballing authorities, alongside eleven … Continue Reading

The United Colours of Benelux: Belgian and Dutch Authorities Consider Proposals for Combined Football League

Ajax’s run to the 2019 UEFA Champions’ League semi-final – European football’s premier club-cup competition – provided a welcome dose of nostalgia for those who remember the glory-days of Johan Cruyff in the 1970s and the Champions’ League winning team of 1995. However, in recent years, football clubs with rich histories such as Ajax, Feyenoord, … Continue Reading

Football finance: Factoring in cash flow

Although it is trite to say that modern football clubs are very much run as businesses, there is often little consideration paid to the nuts and bolts of how these businesses work. As businesses, football clubs are not immune from the challenge of poor cash flow, which is prevalent across many industries. As such, clubs … Continue Reading

The LeBron Effect, Grand Slams and Record Sales: Matching Rights in Football Kit Sponsorship Deals

On 25 October 2019 Mr Justice Teare handed down his judgment in the kit sponsorship dispute between New Balance Athletics (“NB”) v Liverpool Football Club (“LFC”). The dispute concerned whether NB had validly exercised its matching right set out in the contract between the parties entered into on 3 June 2011 (the “NB Agreement”) in … Continue Reading

Whose data is it anyway? Part 2 – does anyone actually own football data?

In part 1 of ‘whose data is it anyway’, we considered the position of Football DataCo and Betgenius, with particular reference to the experience of a Hull City fan who was questioned in relation to “unauthorised data gathering” during a match against Reading. In this, the final part of our two-part series, Sport Shorts considers … Continue Reading

Whose data is it anyway? Part 1 – Hull City fan caught up in the tangled-web of football data

In the first of a two-part series, Sports Shorts looks at the ownership of data collected at football matches. With the new football season still in its infancy, fans of many clubs remain full of the optimism that comes with the sensation that anything is possible in the months to come. When Daniel Mawer arrived … Continue Reading

Unearthing the Pitch-side Mole: How to Protect Confidential Information in Sport

The importance of keeping certain information confidential in sport should not be underestimated. Knowledge of even the smallest piece of information relating to an opposing club or rival’s team selection, tactics, recruitment targets or commercial arrangements can give the club in receipt of such information a significant advantage both on and off the pitch.… Continue Reading
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