Dr. Despina Mavromati, LL.M., M.B.A., FCIArb is an
Attorney-at-law specialized in international sports law and arbitration (SportLegis)
and a Member of the UEFA Appeals Body. She teaches sports arbitration and
sports contracts at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and is a former
Managing Counsel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
This comprehensive book of more than 500
pages with contributions by 53 authors and edited by Nick De Marco QC “aims to embody the main legal principles
and procedures that arise in football law”. It is comprised of 29 chapters
and includes an index, a table of football regulations and a helpful table of
cases including CAS awards, UEFA & FIFA Disciplinary Committee decisions
and Football Association, Premier League and Football League decisions.
The 29 chapters cover a wide range of
regulatory and legal issues in football, predominantly from the angle of English
law. This is logical since both the editor and the vast majority of
contributing authors are practitioners from England.
Apart from being of evident use to
anyone involved in English football, the book offers additional basic
principles that are likely to be of use also to those involved in football
worldwide, including several chapters entirely dedicated to the European and
International regulatory framework on football: chapter 3 (on International
Federations) gives an overview of the pyramidal structure of football
internationally and delineates the scope of jurisdiction among FIFA and the
confederations; chapter 4 explains European law and its application on football
deals mostly with competition issues and the free movement of workers; and
chapter 29 deals with international football-related disputes and the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In addition to the chapters exclusively dealing
with international football matters, international perspectives and the
international regulatory landscape is systematically discussed – in more or
less depth, as the need might be – in several other chapters of the book,
including: chapter 2 on the “Institutions” (from governing bodies to
stakeholders groups in football); chapter 6 on the FIFA Regulations on the
Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP); chapter 8 dealing with (national and
international) player transfers; chapter 11 (on Third Party Investment) and
chapter 16 on Financial Fair Play (mostly discussing the UEFA FFP Regulations);
chapter 23 on disciplinary matters (very
briefly discussing the disciplinary procedures under FIFA and UEFA Disciplinary
rules); chapter 24 on domestic and international doping-related cases in
football, with an overview of the CAS jurisprudence in this respect; and
finally chapter 23 on corruption and match-fixing (with a very short
description of the FIFA and UEFA regulations).
Furthermore, the book offers extensive
chapters in less discussed – yet of high importance – football topics,
including: chapter 13 on image rights and key clauses in image rights
agreements; chapter 14 on taxation (referring also to taxation issues in image
rights and intermediary fees); chapter 15 on sponsoring and commercial rights,
with a guide on the principal provisions in a football sponsoring contract and
various types of disputes arising out of sponsorship rights; chapter 17 on
personal injury, discussing the duty of care in football cases (from the U.K.);
and chapter 18 on copyright law and broadcasting (with short references to the
European law and the freedom to supply football broadcasting services).
Some chapters seem to have a more
general approach to the subject matter at issue without necessarily focusing on
football. These include chapters 27 (on mediation) and 22 (on privacy and defamation),
and even though they were drafted by reputable experts in their fields, I would
still like to see chapter 27 discuss in more detail the specific aspects,
constraints and potential of mediation in football-related disputes as opposed
to a general overview of mediation as a dispute-resolution mechanism. The same
goes for chapter 22, but this could be explained by the fact that there are not
necessarily numerous football-specific cases that are publicly available.
As is internationally known, “football
law” is male-dominated. This is also demonstrated in the fact that of the 53
contributing authors, all of them good colleagues and most of them renowned in
their field, only eight are female (15%). Their opinions, however, are of great
importance to the book due to the subject matter on which these women have contributed,
such as player contracts (Jane Mulcahy QC), player transfers (Liz Coley),
immigration issues in football (Emma Mason), broadcasting (Anita Davies) or
disciplinary issues (Alice Bricogne).
The book is a success not only due to
the great good work done by its editor, Nick De Marco QC but first and foremost
due to its content, masterfully prepared by all 53 authors. On the one hand, the
editor carefully delimited and structured the scope of each topic in a logical
order and in order to avoid overlaps (a daunting task in case of edited volumes
with numerous contributors like this one!), while on the other hand, all 53
authors followed a logical and consistent structure in their chapters and
ensured an expert analysis that would have not been possible had this book been
authored by one single person.
Overall, I found this book to be a great
initiative and a very useful and comprehensive guide written by some of the
most reputable experts. The chapters are drafted in a clear and understandable
way and the editor did a great job putting together some of the most relevant
and topical legal and regulatory issues from the football field, thus filling a
much-needed gap in the “football law” literature.