Cover O'Leary

Employment and Labour Relations Law in the Premier League, NBA and International Rugby Union
Series: ASSER International Sports Law Series

February 2017 Author: Dr Leanne O'Leary, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom



  • Published: February 2017
  • Pages: XV + 327 p.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book examines the employment arrangements of professional athletes in the Premier League football competition, the National Basketball Association competition and rugby union played at an international level. It describes the organisation and regulatory frameworks of these three professional team sports and highlights the legal, economic and regulatory factors that influence the final form of an athlete’s working conditions.

It provides a comparative analysis between the sports on issues such as the role of collective bargaining, wage regulation, salary caps, nationality restrictions, eligibility, player movement and the acquisition of a player’s intellectual property. It discusses the approaches adopted in each sport for balancing the interests of labour and management, the problem of controlling private regulatory power in professional sport and considers the extent to which legal or government intervention is required in an athlete’s employment relationship.

National law can assist players in a domestic league to secure an involvement in the determination of working conditions but it has a more limited effect in a competition organised by an international governing body. This book argues that social regulation through soft law processes at an international level may benefit athletes, consumers and sport globally. It provides a useful case example for comparison with the organisation of other professional team sports in Europe, North America and Australasia.

This book is important reading for scholars and practitioners in the fields of international sports law, employment law, competition law, European law and human rights law. It is also highly recommended for students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels taking modules and courses in Sports Law or Sports Business Management.

Dr. Leanne O’Leary is a dual-qualified solicitor, Senior Lecturer in Law and member of the Centre for Sports Law Research at Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom.

Specific to this book:

  • Compares and contrasts the regulatory measures which apply in the NBA, Premier League Football and International Rugby Union
  • Provides a single source of information about three leading sports competitions
  • Contains a case example for comparison with the organisation of other professional team sports in Europe, North America and Australasia

This book appears in the ASSER International Sports Law Series, under the editorship of Prof. Dr. Ben Van Rompuy and Dr. Antoine Duval.

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