Showing posts from 2012

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

It is Christmas Evening and I would like to take the opportunity to send my best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity to all of you who have supported this blog so far.  I am, indeed, privileged to have received so many constructive comments, in relation to the content of my several posts. We have had some interesting discussions and we have analysed some of the most important developments in sports law. Let's hope that the New Year would allows us to explore further sports law issues and ensure that our contribution could assist the stakeholders in the sporting world. I thank you again for your support, throughout and I would like to extend my best wishes to ALL of you for Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year, with Health, Happiness and Prosperity. Merry Christmas Everyone! Dr. Gregory Ioannidis 24 December 2012

The Financial Future at Celtic Park: An Open Discussion

This is a very important topic and I would invite all fans to raise their views, regarding the financial future of Celtic Football Club. It is my intention to analyse, here, some personal views and set the basis for what, I hope, would be a constructive discussion. I emphasise the point that these are only my personal views and they do not relate, nor are they linked, to any other official views that may exist within the club.

Can Football Supporters Challenge Decisions of Football Bodies?

This is indeed a very difficult question and its answer requires consideration of several different issues. Such issues give rise to a number of complicated legal considerations that concern the standing of the complainant to sue and the legal basis of the complaint.

Contractual Stability in Football & Players' Power

 The last two decades have served as a catalyst towards enormous changes in the world of football. Several decisions by the European Court of Justice and numerous discussions between football governing bodies and the European Commission, have set the framework in which contractual stability in football could be achieved. Such framework attempts to strike a balance between the rights of football governing bodies and individual players, but is it true that such balance does not exist?

Lance Armstrong Case: Due Process & Natural Justice in Self-Regulation

The production of evidence by USADA, against Lance Armstrong last week, saw the sport of cycling fall into further disrepute. Such evidence became available to the public, although its evaluation and probity would still need to be analysed and examined, before properly constituted forums. It is not the first time that an athlete is judged via the Media platform and certainly not the last where an athlete is presumed guilty. Lance Armstrong

The Lance Armstrong Case: The Story Continues

Court of Arbitration for Sport We have received several comments from our readers and requests for clarification in relation to our previous post, regarding the decision by USADA to apply sanctions on Lance Armstrong. Some readers misinterpreted our position, mainly because of its emotive stance. You must appreciate that this blog does not take sides, but seeks to establish the truth and to offer a pragmatic view and opinion on all sports law developments. Similarly, our previous post did not have as an aim to examine whether Lance Armstrong committed the alleged offences or not. Instead, it had as an aim to establish whether the anti-doping organisation in question has the power and jurisdiction to apply sanctions on the athlete.

The Lance Armstrong Case: Pride & Prejudice

The latest developments in the Lance Armstrong case demonstrate, once again, the perennial battle between the rights of the individual athlete and those of the sport. Although the argument has been fully analysed already elsewhere in this blog, the question remains as to whether self-regulation has now exceeded its boundaries and limitations at the expense of another sporting icon: Lance Armstrong. 

Football Agents & Tapping Up: Business As Usual

We could all agree that the increasing commercialisation of sport gives rise to a number of opportunities for a quick profit. Football is not different and its commodification and enormous commercial value have created the basis upon which quick deals could be established and millions of pounds could be exchanged between different parties. The  purposeful and efficient application of the regulatory framework could ensure the elimination of illegal and immoral activities such as 'tapping up'. But is such application always an appropriate deterrent?

John Terry Case: Questions Remain

The FA's decision to commence disciplinary proceedings against John Terry demonstrates, once again, the perennial battle between self-regulation and external regulation. Despite the national court's decision to clear Mr Terry from all charges, the sporting governing body declared its intention to commence separate disciplinary proceedings on the same matter.  John Terry

The Curious Case of Dwain Chambers

The University of Buckingham hosted a very interesting public debate last Thursday [19 July 2012] on the issue of performance enhancing substances and methods in sport. I had the honour of chairing this debate and be part of the panel which comprised of my two esteemed colleagues, Professor Geoffrey Alderman and Professor bob Watt [who prefers to use a small 'b' for his first name!]. My two colleagues fully analysed the moral and ethical issues in favour and against the use of performance enhancing substances and answered questions from the public. 

Re-structuring Scottish Football Vol 3

We are now approaching, perhaps, the stage where announcements could be made regarding the re-structuring of Scottish football. We have explained, to a great extent, in our previous posts how this situation could be fully resolved, without any major complaints from any interested clubs. We have also suggested specific recommendations and we forwarded such recommendations to the Scottish Football Association.

The Wheel[s] of Fortune & The Lance Armstrong Case

We have been following with immense interest all developments relevant to USADA's decision to commence fresh proceedings against Lance Armstrong. Several questions are now being asked as to the necessity and indeed, the timing for initiating such proceedings. Most of the arguments, no doubt, would focus around the moral and jurisprudential fabric of such case. We would only look at the evidence and its probity.

Re-structuring Scottish Football Vol 2

We presented our thoughts, regarding the re-structuring of Scottish football previously in this post . We also submitted the case about the need for the creation of a more attractive product, which would guarantee a better income from potential TV broadcasters here . We explained clearly in these two posts that Scottish football could become more attractive, because the power of it derives from its own fans.

Sky Sports & Football Broadcasting Rights in Scotland

It has been suggested that if a NewCo Rangers is not admitted in the first two top leagues in Scotland, then Sky would have to cancel the current broadcasting rights deal. It is unknown what ESPN would do in such an event. If that is the case, it is not necessarily a pessimistic outcome, nor one that could affect the finances of the SPL clubs in a negative way.

Restructuring Scottish Football

It was interesting to note the publication [] regarding the recent plans of the Scottish football authorities with the view to re-structuring the game in Scotland. The implications, of course, are many and capable of creating new dynamics regarding the application of the rules and the effect that such application could have on individual clubs.

The Dangers of Sporting Uncertainty

We are witnessing several new developments in Scottish football almost on a daily basis. Inquiries are many and it is not disputed that fans are confused regarding the future of the game. Scottish football is reaching extremely dangerous heights and the subsequent free fall may be disastrous. The Ancient Greeks used to say that 'with one bad deed, millions of others usually follow'. We all hope that this is not the case here, but decisions need to be made very quickly.

Status and Transfer of Players & the Future of Rangers FC Players

It has been suggested that Rangers FC players are legally obliged to transfer their contractual responsibilities to a new company that would potentially participate in the competitions of the SFA and the SPL. I cannot stress enough how erroneous this contention is. I have recently explained, very clearly, the situation in an interview with the BBC and suggested that the Rangers players are fully protected not only by the law of the land, but also by FIFA's regulatory framework.

The Unbearable Lightness of Football Law: Pride & Prejudice

I have received several inquiries from many fans of the game. It is very encouraging that most people desire a constructive discussion and it is my view that such discussion could help us analyse several issues, particularly those issues that relate to the troubles of Scottish football. 

Tax-Free Sporting Competitions or Lawful Tax Evasion?

This issue deserves special analysis and it is my intention to produce, in due course, a detailed and critical analysis of the fact that major sporting governing bodies enjoy tax-exemption in the countries that organise major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup. It would be extremely helpful if my readers were to produce, as always, their constructive comments on the several points I intend to raise.

The Dark Side of Football and its Bad Advisers

Those who have read my starting posts, must know that this blog offers analysis and critique on all sports law matters. We take no sides here, although a certain section of the footballing society in Glasgow may think otherwise. If you could read the posts carefully, you may realise that the analysis so far has been rather  critical, but fair and reasonable. Make no mistake: Justice is independent and it does not pay attention to club colour or misconceived perceptions about religion and/or politics.

Appeals before the Court of Arbitration for Sport

There has been enormous speculation regarding a possible appeal [or lack of] by Rangers before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. I have read several statements, as well as reports by the Media. I am concerned that a significant number of these reports has been quite erroneous and to a certain extent untrue. As a result, the fans mainly, have been placed in a rather prejudicial predicament and they feel that there is some kind of a 'fiddle' involved in the process.

Does Punishment Fit the Crime in Sports Law?

The Rangers matter is now reaching a very crucial stage in terms of legal analysis and a consideration of the application of possible sanctions. Any prediction could be extremely subjective as the regulatory framework of the SFA allows for the application of a wide range of sanctions, including a combination of such sanctions .

State Regulation v Self Regulation and the Scottish Football Example

I would like to share some thoughts with all of you, without going into great detail. It is not my intention to predict the outcome of the disciplinary process against Rangers FC. It would not be appropriate for the administration of justice. But some facts need to be considered and such consideration needs to touch upon the relevant rules currently in place.

The Independence of Sports Law

I feel the need to divert slightly from the usual analysis of the current sports law developments and concentrate on a personal issue. This is the first and the last time that I am touching upon such issue and it is important for all football fans to keep an open mind when they read the lines below. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but the truth must be spoken, whether some like it or not. It is also important to protect my name and my reputation from unjustified and offensive comments, who come as a result of fanatical and  without compelling justification views. 

A Civil Action: Recipe for Disaster?

The developments in Scottish football, this year, have been astonishing and rather controversial. For the sports lawyer, this is a remarkable opportunity to examine and critically analyse further the perennial battle between state regulation and self-regulation. Rangers have certainly given us this opportunity with their decision to challenge the transfer embargo imposed on them, by submitting an application to a civil court in Scotland. Irrespective of the Scottish court's decision, the question remains whether the football authorities in Scotland would impose further sanctions on Rangers as a result of this development.

Switching National Football Leagues: General Thoughts

One of the important issues in European football concerns the ability of a football club to participate in a national football league, other than the one of its original registration. This is also an important issue for the practice of sports law. Any analysis, therefore, would encompass a wide variety of different considerations. 

Rangers FC: Morality or the Law?

It has been a remarkable week and the response, to my Rangers FC related posts, has been overwhelming and fascinating. The comments of my readers have been, by and large, very constructive and thought provoking. They have certainly generated more issues that require analysis.

Does Scottish Football Need Rangers FC? Re-visiting the Arguments

I have already covered this issue in a previous post [ ]. A great friend and colleague, however, who goes by the name of Phil Gibbs, posed several interesting questions. I re-cite Phil's questions here in the hope that all fans would be able to constructively contribute to the discussion. I am simply offering guidance in this post and if you are interested in my personal views, you may always visit the link above, which could refer you to the relevant previous post.

Football Players with Dual Nationality: To Be or Not to Be

The ability of football players to choose the national team they wish to play for, has become a rather interesting concept over the last few years. It matters not what the reasons are, but rather what the regulations say. We all need to remember that the law changes according to the needs of society and adopts certain trends. Similarly, the relevant FIFA regulations were created in order to produce clarity and certainty in this area of football law, but above all, they were created for the protection of the integrity of the sporting competition.

Bringing the Game into Disrepute: Regulation & Politics

I have been following very carefully the developments in Scottish football, both, from my capacity as a fan and a sports lawyer. I have shared, here, several of my thoughts, at least on an academic level. Most of my readers have responded with constructive analysis and some of their thoughts deserve credit. The discussion is certainly helping all of us to understand these complicated and controversial issues under analysis.

Football Agents: No Such Thing As a FIFA Agent

The discussion surrounding the role of football agents is not a new one. It has been around for years, mainly because of the large sums that are available for the services of agents. This is a fact that cannot be disputed, but the discussion would be better served if one is in a position to identify the kind of regulation that currently applies to the profession of football agents.

UEFA's licensing system & the Role of the SFA

It has been stated in previous posts that all the latest developments regarding Rangers FC, have the potential of giving rise to different sports law issues. In the last few days, there has been a rather complicated discussion as to whether Rangers FC could potentially play in Europe, next season, either with their current status or under a new status.

Broadcasting Rights for All?

The Premier League invited individual broadcasters, recently, to submit their bids for winning the exclusive rights to Premiership football. Although there is a financial crisis everywhere and the UK is now going through a second recession, it is a fact that Premiership football remains extremely popular with finances that cannot be ignored. Evidence demonstrates that the current three-year deal cost BSkyB £1.78 billion in 2010!

Liquidation in Football & Free Agents

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the status of Rangers FC's players in the event of the club's liquidation. At a first glance, the situation may appear straightforward, but further analysis may indicate exactly the opposite. Again, we may appear to have a collision between contractual/employment principles and those of self regulation that derive from the application of the sporting rules currently in place.

The Rangers Story: A Challenge for Sports Lawyers

When I first started my blog a few days ago, I made a promise to my readers that I would remain independent towards analysing several sports law issues. One of them is the well-publicised matter of Rangers FC. The latest developments are of interest to many observers, particularly to football fans in Scotland. For the sports lawyer, this case presents a unique challenge. It is my intention, in the next few weeks, to analyse, extensively, such challenge in a series of different posts.

The Organisation of Greek Football: An Example To Avoid

Some of you may think that Greek football doesn't really count for much. Off the pitch, you would be surprised.  It is my intention to analyse, extensively, the regulatory framework of the Hellenic Football Federation and the organisation of the Greek Super League, who is responsible for the top flight of football in Greece. Such analysis may pose no real surprises, as rules are in existence for the proper and efficient running of the sport. What is of surprise and at the same time, of enormous concern, is how Greek football authorities have an amazing ability to manipulate rules and regulations and apply them in a way that the average nous cannot possibly comprehend.

BOA v WADA: CAS to announse its reasoned decision today

British Media have been reporting that BOA have lost their appeal against WADA. At 15:00, UK time, today we will know whether this is true or not. Whatever the result, it shall be extremely interesting to read CAS' reasoned decision, which I am pretty certain it would centre around two issues: 1) Eligibility and 2) Participation.

Celtic FC: Champions of Scotland

I am diverting slightly from the specific theme of my blog to pay tribute to the Champions of Scotland. Although Celtic were confirmed as champions a few weeks ago, the game today against Rangers also confirmed the East End side's superiority. Credit has to be given to Rangers FC for turning up and displaying a good performance in the first twenty minutes. I couldn't help noticing, however, that the Rangers players looked mentally exhausted. It is not difficult to identify the reasons for this, as the future of the club looks bleak. Uncertainty and pessimism are now ruling Rangers, because of the unacceptable and poor fiscal decision making.

Celtic v Rangers: Two Clubs with One Reason to Unite a Nation

Celtic v Rangers: Two Clubs with One Reason to Unite a Nation Some of you may come to the conclusion that I am not the best person to write about the two great clubs in Scotland. Perhaps you are right. I was not born in Scotland, I am not Scottish and I do not have a Scottish accent, although I can produce, I am told, an excellent imitation of Sean Connery's voice! Character references aside and despite my declared affiliation with Celtic FC and the unconditional support for this great club, I shall maintain my independence towards approaching the issues in this post. Remember that this is an academic forum and all views must be respected and constructively analysed.

Sports Law Analysis on Current Issues

Sports Law Analysis on Current Issues  Thank you all for the initial comments and your kind wishes regarding my new blog. Your kind words have certainly increased my appetite for further posts regarding this exciting area of law. It is my intention to critically analyse various current developments in sports law and, where possible, to offer my readers with an insight that would not, otherwise, be available to the public.

Welcome to the World of Sports Law

Welcome to the World of Sports Law This is my first ever post.  I would like to welcome you all to what I hope it will be an exciting, informative and comprehensive blog. Almost 30 years ago, a new legal discipline appeared in the UK. Its presence was embraced with several different views and opinions. Some of them were opinions of excitement and celebration. Others were accompanied with curiosity. And some others with concern and disbelief: "There is no such thing as Sports Law" many uttered.