An Authority On Transparency In Sports Arbitration - MCFC v The Premier League
It was perhaps inevitable that the recent Court of Appeal judgment in Manchester City Football Club v The Football Association Premier League Ltd & Others would generate significant interest from the public.
The decision, which resulted in a two-page spread in one Sunday national newspaper, followed last year’s high profile CAS appeal judgment in respect of UEFA’s disciplinary action against Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) relating to alleged historical breaches of UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP).
The Court of Appeal judgment is of some complexity, both procedurally and technically, but will be of particular interest to sports law practitioners.
The decision establishes that there is public interest in the manner in which disciplinary proceedings are prosecuted by governing bodies like the Premier League against clubs and in any excess delay to such proceedings. Moreover, the decision provides a stark illustration that the English courts are likely to take a dim view of attempts by governing bodies and clubs to agree to keep any litigation challenging sports arbitral decisions confidential, particularly where novel points of practice or issues relating to procedural fairness arise.
This article examines the case and its repercussions, looking at:
- Procedural Background And Relevant PL Rules
- The Commercial Court’s Merits Judgment
- The Publication Judgment
- The Appeal
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- Tags: Arbitration Act 1996 | Dispute Resolution | Football | Premier League | Regulation & Governance | Sports | United Kingdom (UK)
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Andrew is a solicitor advocate and senior associate in the firm’s Litigation and Corporate Risk department. Andrew advises individuals and corporates on a wide array of corporate and commercial disputes and acts on both domestic and cross jurisdictional cases, with particular expertise in corporate and shareholder disputes, civil fraud, and complex trusts disputes.