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Inside the English Premier League’s latest media rights deal: What does it tell us about the current state of play of the market?

In the wake of the announcement by the English Premier League (EPL) of the “largest sports media rights deal ever concluded in the UK”[1] at the end of last year, this article considers key takeaways, as well as how this latest EPL deal compares to previous deals and those of other major international sports leagues.… Continue Reading

Now the Work Begins: What’s Next for Women’s Football in 2024?

2023 saw further impressive growth in interest around women’s sport, with increased viewership in the UK across television, social media and in-person attendance.[1] Almost one million more people tuned in to watch a minute or more of women’s sport in 2023 compared with the previous record set in 2019.[2] Women’s football is still dominating the … Continue Reading

Performance Improvement Technology In Elite Sports

In competitive sport, small margins make the difference between winning and losing. It is therefore no surprise that elite sport is experiencing transformational change due to the increasing use of performance improvement technology.  We have recently advised Formula 1 and Premier League football teams on their use of performance improvement technology solutions including in:… Continue Reading

Kicking Off the Discussion on the Future of Women’s Football

Women’s football is firmly in the spotlight this summer.  Following a record-breaking domestic season, where viewership and live audiences for the Women’s Super League (WSL) hit an all time high, the expanded World Cup format is showcasing the ever-increasing quality and strength in depth of the women’s game.  Despite a faltering build up for the … Continue Reading

Gambling on Top Flight Footballers: ASA Ruling

The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) has issued its first ruling under the new rules that prohibit gambling ads with “strong appeal” to under-18s, providing a useful example as to how the new rules will be applied. Updated Gambling Ad Rules As covered in more detail in a previous article for this blog, on 1 October … Continue Reading

Changes to the “crown jewel” sports events amid UK broadcasting review: An updated analysis of the UK’s Listed Events Regime

Following on from the growing popularity and success of the Women’s Super League and the great form of the England’s Women’s Team, there is a real sense of anticipation and excitement ahead of the UEFA Women’s European Championship finals, to be kicked off this Wednesday by England’s Lionesses versus Austria. In late April, the UK … Continue Reading

Crackdown on Gambling Ads Featuring Sports Stars: New Advertising Rules

As reported in our previous article published in 2019, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) have been focussing for some time on protecting children and young persons through their regulation of gambling advertising. Under the current rules, gambling ads are prohibited only if they appeal ‘particularly’ to under-18s, which CAP considers means if an ad … Continue Reading

‘Is Football the Same Without Fans?’: Valuable lessons when negotiating broadcasting agreements

Last month, it was reported that the value of the overseas broadcasting deals entered into by the English Premier League (‘EPL‘) nudged past the £5 billion threshold for the 2022-25 rights cycle, whilst also surpassing the value of domestic deals for the same cycle for the first time. Given these substantial investments, it is no … 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

The Low-Down on FIFA’s New Player Loan Regulations

Big money permanent transfers are usually the headline grabbers but there have been some significant loan moves this window… Tanguy Ndombele from Tottenham to Lyon, Adama Traoré from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Barcelona, Antony Martial from Manchester United to Sevilla, and Aaron Ramsey from Juventus to Rangers, to name just a few of the international loan … 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

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

A new post-Brexit system for the transfer of EU players

In a joint statement released last week, the Football Association (“FA”), the Premier League and the Football League (together, the “Stakeholders”) confirmed the Home Office approved points-based system that will apply to all overseas players, including EU nationals, hoping to join an English club from January 2021 onwards. Following the end of the Brexit transition … 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

Concussion in football

On Sunday evening, a clash of heads between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers gave public attention (again) to the issue around concussion protocols in football. Alan Shearer considers it a matter of “life and death” as he urged the sport to change the rules on … 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

Messi scores goal in trade mark dispute: registering celebrity names as trade marks

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has ruled that, after a decade-long legal battle, football ace Lionel Messi has the right to register his name as a trade mark. This interesting case confirms that celebrity names are registrable as trade marks. However, whilst there are some advantages to seeking such protection, there … Continue Reading

Gambling sponsorship and advertising shakeup in Spanish football

The Spanish Government has published a proposal for measures which, if passed, will restrict gambling advertising in Spanish football. One of the proposed measures is the ban of gambling sponsors on football shirts. Although the measures are designed to protect consumers, they could have significant financial implications for Spain’s top clubs. It is worth noting … 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

FIFA announces changes to the transfer window

Sports Shorts previously commented on the FIFA guidelines that were recently published to address some of the practical issues that arose as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. FIFA has now published temporary amendments to its FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP“), which are binding. FIFA also published recommendations in response … Continue Reading
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