The lifecycle of an international athlete: Part 1 - finding an agent & signing with a sports club

Published 28 August 2017 By: Andrew Haywood

Man signing a contract on top of a table

This is the first in Penningtons Manches’ series of blogs that address the important legal issues and considerations that an international athlete will face when entering the UK to compete. Employment expert Andrew Haywood discusses the initial steps of finding an agent or manager, and signing a first employment contract with a sports club.

As would be the case for any athlete, domestic or international, above all it’s important to ensure that the individual surrounds themselves with the right professional support, not only to guide them through the potential legal pitfalls we will be addressing in this series but also to ensure that their value in a commercial context is maximised to its full potential.     

One of the first considerations for any professional athlete, assuming they have the right to work in the UK (which we will cover in our next blog), will be the structure of their playing contract. Typically, the type of sport will dictate the nature of the working relationship with athletes being self-employed, employed through a club, or under a centralised contract with their respective governing body. Some sports such as football will have a standard player club contract but there are opportunities to add provisions to the standard form.  However, given that players employed through a club often represent a club’s most valuable asset, a comprehensive contract of employment is essential for any professional player.

Here we examine:

  • Finding an agent or manager

  • What an employment contract should cover

  • Consideration of all commercial activities 


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Andrew Haywood

Andrew Haywood

Andrew Haywood joined Penningtons Manches following the merger with Dawsons in 2011 and became a partner in April 2014.

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