Sports disputes and disciplinary procedures – the year in review 2019/20

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2020. Written by Carol Couse, Tiran Gunawardena, Rustam Sethna No Comments

Given how COVID-19 has completely dominated everything in life over the past few months, it is somewhat surreal looking back over the last year to what the sports industry looked like.

If you do cast your mind back, you might recall that 2019-20 was a year of high-profile sports disputes and disciplinary cases, with many of those cases frequently occupying the mainstream media spotlight.

Given the burgeoning landscape of sports disputes and disciplinary proceedings, this review seeks to summarise the year gone by through the following overarching themes:


  1. Sports tribunals and their independence
  2. Financial regulation of sport
  3. Other high profile disputes in the media spotlight
  4. New rules and regulations
  5. Issues to look out for

COVID-19 clearly casts a large shadow over the sports industry so at the end of this article the authors will provide a brief overview of some of the sports disputes expected to arise over the next year due to the fallout from the virus.

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About the Author

Carol Couse

Carol Couse

Carol is a Partner in the sports team at Mills & Reeve LLP , with extensive in-house and in private practice experience of dealing with sports regulatory matters, whether contentious or non-contentious, including in respect of all legal issues pertaining to football transfers.  She has represented clients before dispute resolution and disciplinary bodies of the Premier League, The FA, UEFA, FIFA and the CAS.

As a Spanish speaker, Carol frequently advises top athletes, agents, and clubs in Spain and Latin America. Carol is regularly invited to lecture at universities and conferences all over the world, publishes articles on a wide variety of sport-related matters, and often provides comments and analysis on legal issues in sport for the BBC, the Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, Sky Sports, ESPN and others.

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Tiran Gunawardena

Tiran Gunawardena

Tiran Gunawardena is a Senior Associate (Australian Qualified) in the London sports law team at Mills & Reeve LLP.

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Rustam Sethna

Rustam Sethna

Rustam is an Associate at LawInSport and an incoming Associate on the sports law team at Mills & Reeve LLP.

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