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Breach or Bad Luck? Arsenal's Fight For Variable Sell-On Clauses In Transfer Agreements

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Wednesday, 12 May 2021 By Manan Agrawal, Marcos Santillana

On 26 February 2020, Arsenal were sanctioned by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for including “variable sell-on clauses” in the transfer agreements of Chuba Akpom and Joel Campbell to FC Paok Thessaloniki (Greece) and Frosinone Calcio (Italy) respectively[1]. The clauses were held to have violated FIFA’s regulations prohibiting third party influence[2]. Arsenal appealed the decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee[3], but were denied. They have now appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

This article examines the case and its repercussions, looking specifically at:

  • What are “variable sell on clauses”?
  • Facts of the Case
  • The Disciplinary Committee’s decision
  • The Appeal Committee’s decision
  • Analysis of the treatment of similar clauses in transfer agreements

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Written by

Manan Agrawal

Manan Agrawal


Manan is currently an Editor at LawInSport. Before joining LawInSport, Manan practiced law at a leading media and entertainment law firm in Mumbai, India. Manan has been a part of LawInSport's inaugural Academy Mentoring Scheme and was mentored by LawInSport CEO and Founder, Sean Cottrell.

Marcos Santillana

Marcos Santillana

Marcos is the Marketing and Editorial Associate at LawInSport.

Prior to joining LawInSport, Marcos undertook a 12-month legal internship with one of the largest anti-slavery organisations in the world, International Justice Mission, at their field office in La Paz, Bolivia. He graduated with an LLM in Commercial & Corporate law from Queen Mary University of London in 2020.

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