COVID-19: 10 legal considerations of extending the football season in England
The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused significant turmoil to sport globally and football in particular has a multitude of issues to work out in a landscape which is changing on almost a daily basis.
Following the recent emergency meeting with The FA, Premier League, EFL and officials from all Premier League clubs, it was decided that the 2019/2020 season in England will be postponed until 30 April at the earliest. But, with the postponement of UEFA 2020 and all other UEFA competitions until further notice and The FA agreeing to extend the season indefinitely, the hope is that the season can be completed by 30 June 2020. Urgent discussions between all stakeholders are continuing with a focus on the resumption of the 2019/20 season and several other important matters.
The postponement of the season has already resulted in a number of legal headaches for governing bodies, leagues and clubs but, if it proves not possible to complete the season by 30 June 2020, a myriad of additional legal issues will arise. This article delves into these potential legal issues focussing predominantly on contractual complications between clubs and players. Specifically, it looks at:
- The transfer window
- Player contracts
- Extension options
- Players and coaches on sportsperson visas
- Transfer options
- Loan agreements
- Contingent payments
- Financial fair play
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- Tags: Champions League | Competition | Contract | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Employment | England | English Football League (EFL) | FIFA | FIFA'S Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSPT) | Financial Fair Play | Football | Premier League | Sponsorship | The FA | UEFA | United Kingdom (UK) | Wales
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John is a senior associate in the Sports Business Group at Lewis Silkin specialising in contentious, regulatory and disciplinary issues for clubs, agencies, governing bodies and athletes