Sporting Rules/Regulations Part 1

A response to the question that critically considers the self-regulatory sporting rules and the impact of the same on the UK Domestic Laws, The ECJ jurisprudence and the inpact of the EC White Paper on Sport: written by Football Agents and Sports Lawyers:


In its preamble The EC 'White Paper on Sport' (White Paper)1 is the unquestioned "social and economic phenomenon which makes an important contribution to the European Union's strategic objectives of solidarity and prosperity",.2 European citizens are particularly attracted to sport; a majority of EU people are regular participants in at least one sporting activity, with many citizens keenly interested in multiple sports3. The fundamental values of team spirit, solidarity, tolerance and fair play, the time-honoured building blocks of personal development and self-fulfillment are all the positive outcomes generated by sport participation at every level, from the novice recreational athlete to the accomplished professional. In a profound sense, sport does not build character so much as it reveals it4; without sport, Europe would be a poorer, less vibrant society. These truths are brought into the clearest focus when its modern day threats and challenges are examined. The White Paper specifically notes these threats through the cited examples of commercial pressure, exploitation of young players, doping,5 racism, violence, corruption and money laundering.6   Through the sporting prism provided by the White Paper provisions, the analysis developed in this paper considers three main self-regulatory rules in the further context of current UK legislation and ECJ jurisprudence — UEFA club licensing, club administration and the "Directors Test/Club Ownership." In each instance, the social merits of each are considered and a critique offered. The overarching conclusion that provides the apparent connective tissue to link these otherwise contemporary sport elements is simple — sport as it is tightly woven within the essential fabric of the European Union and the world at large, is too important, and too pervasive to be left entirely in the hands of self-regulating supervisory bodies.   1 European Commission White Paper on Sport 2012 [online] <­paper_en.htm#1>viewed 15 September 2012, preamble ('White Paper') 2 Ibid. 3 White Paper, preamble. 4 Inabinett, M Grantland Rice and His Heroes: The Sportswriter as Mythmaker in the 1920s. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994, quoting famous American sportswriter Grantland Rice, 59. 5 See the definitions as provided at Blakeley, A 'A new era for anti-doping in equestrian sports' (2010) 8 (5) WSLR 12; whilst doping regulation could justify its own section in this paper, it is noted that its particular prevalence also spills over into how the enumerated regulations discussed in this paper are enforced. 6 White Paper, preamble; see also Taylor, S and Foley-Train, J 'Preventing match-fixing: player education fundamental' (2011 9(6) WSLR 6, 8.  

An original essay written by Football Agents and Sports Lawyers

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