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How Does Rugby Regulate Multi-Club Ownership

Rugby Player
Tuesday, 21 February 2023 By James Besley-Tyrrell

The trend of multi-club ownership has experienced rapid growth in the sports industry over the past two decades. Notable examples include Todd Boehly, who owns both Chelsea FC and the LA Dodgers1, and the Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool FC, the Boston Red Sox, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the realm of football, financial powerhouses such as the City Group and Red Bull network have acquired multiple teams. This model offers numerous advantages for both individual clubs and ownership groups. Access to expanded scouting networks and opportunities to penetrate new markets can lead to increased club value and success on the field, resulting in the acquisition of trophies and prize money.

The trend is not limited to football and is starting to emerge in other sports, particularly rugby. Examples include the recent takeover of Saracens and the proposed takeover of Gloucester RFC in 2017, which have raised concerns regarding multi-club ownership in the sport. This article aims to highlight some potential issues in current regulations in the sport of rugby and raises the questions as to whether greater transparency in decision-making is required. This will be accomplished through an examination of existing provisions and a comparison with related regulations set forth by UEFA.

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James Besley-Tyrrell

James Besley-Tyrrell

James is a former law graduate of the University of Exeter and a current Masters student at the University of Law. He has a wide interest in sports law, and is a keen rugby player himself.

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