The first part of this
two-part blog on multi-club ownership in European football outlined the circumstances
leading to the adoption of the initial rule(s) aimed at ensuring the integrity
of the UEFA club competitions (Original Rule) and retraced the
early existence of such rule(s), focusing primarily on the complaints brought
before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the European Commission by the
English company ENIC plc. This second part will, in turn, introduce the
relevant rule as it is currently enshrined in Article 5 of the UCL Regulations
2015-18 Cycle, 2017/18 Season (Current Rule). It will then explore how the UEFA Club Financial
Control Body (CFCB) interpreted and applied the Current Rule in the Red Bull
case, before drawing some concluding remarks. More...
Tomáš Grell holds an LL.M.
in Public International Law from Leiden University. He contributes to
the work of the ASSER International Sports Law Centre as a research
13 September 2017, more than 40,000 people witnessed the successful debut of
the football club RasenBallsport Leipzig (RB Leipzig) in the UEFA Champions
League (UCL) against AS Monaco. In the eyes of many supporters of the
German club, the mere fact of being able to participate in the UEFA's flagship
club competition was probably more important than the result of the game
itself. This is because, on the pitch, RB Leipzig secured their place in the
2017/18 UCL group stage already on 6 May 2017 after
an away win against Hertha Berlin.
However, it was not until 16 June 2017 that the UEFA Club Financial Control
Body (CFCB) officially allowed RB Leipzig to participate in the 2017/18 UCL alongside its sister club,
Austrian giants FC Red Bull Salzburg (RB Salzburg).
As is well known, both clubs have (had) ownership links to the beverage company
Red Bull GmbH (Red Bull), and therefore it came as no surprise that the idea
of two commonly owned clubs participating in the same UCL season raised
concerns with respect to the competition's integrity. More...