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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 15 Issue: 6
(June 2017)


The pay dispute between Cricket Australia (‘CA’) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (‘ACA’), relating to the forthcoming expiry of the memorandum of understanding (‘MOU’) on 30 June 2017 that established the revenue sharing system within Australian elite cricket player contracts since 1997, centres on the CA’s desire to scrap the revenue sharing model completely and the players’ desire to renegotiate the MOU share of revenue which would include increases in revenue for elite women cricketers. The cricketers have offered mediation, which was rejected by the CA, and rumours have escalated in the media about a possible Ashes boycott by players if the pay dispute is not resolved. If no agreement is reached by 30 June 2017, all of Australia’s elite cricketers - men and women - will be unemployed. ACA Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson published an editorial on 5 June 2017 sharing his thoughts on the dispute. Nicholson explained that despite a successful 20 year partnership with the CA, new edicts have been issued that have shocked players. “It seems like CA is acting as a heavy monopoly taking the players for granted. And placing its own organisational appetites ahead of the best interests of the national pastime.” Nicholson states that the players are offering flexibility on the negotiations on among other things the type of revenue sharing model; the allocation of risk; and how revenues beyond those forecast are allocated. The ACA would also like the current level of grassroots investment to be increased. / read more

The Chinese Football Association (‘CFA’) published a notice on its website on 24 May 2017 announcing the introduction of a 100% tax on transfers of players made by clubs that make a financial loss, meaning that fees are effectively doubled for affected transfers. According to the notice, the CFA has brought in the tax “to limit the professional football club in pursuing short-term results, blind comparisons, high price signings, and driving up the price behaviour,” with media sources reporting that the tax has been introduced to specifically tackle the exorbitant transfers of foreign players to the Chinese Super League (‘CSL’). / read more


On 25 April 2017, the Spanish Supreme Court (ruling no. 708/2017) upheld the National Court’s decision in the case involving Spanish cyclist Roberto Heras which declared the Public Administration responsible for the damages suffered by Heras as a result of an illegal doping sanction imposed against him by the Spanish Cycling Federation and awarded €724,904.86 in compensation. Rubén Agote and Jose M. Martínez Salamanca of Cuatrecasas, analyse the Heras case which has taken 12 years to see Heras awarded with compensation, and the Public Administration’s responsibility for illegal doping sanctions. / read more

In light of the recent controversy emanating from Joey Barton’s 18-month suspension from football on betting related charges, and the betting integrity issues surrounding Wayne Shaw’s ‘pie-gate’ incident, the relationship between football and gambling has been thrust back into the public arena. Barton, in comments on his website following his sanctioning by the FA, called into question what he claims is the hypocrisy of the FA’s approach to stringent enforcement of its rules relating to gambling whilst at the same time entering into close commercial ties with gambling operators. As alluded to by Barton, the FA has a long standing tradition of tie-ups with gambling operators, most recently signing up to a long-term sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes in June 2016. In addition, gambling advertisements are prominently displayed during the broadcasts of live matches and a substantial portion of current Premier League clubs have a betting company as their shirt sponsor. Mike Llewellyn of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, in this article considers the implications of the publicity brought to the FA’s relationship by the recent incidents set out above, as well as evaluating whether it would be appropriate and viable for the FA to cut its close commercial ties with gambling companies and replace these with a football betting levy (‘Football Betting Levy’) similar to the Horseracing Betting Levy. / read more

In December 2015, as part of its ‘Sporting Future’ strategy, the UK Government asked Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson to conduct an independent review of the duty of care that sport has towards its participants. That review - the ‘Duty of Care in Sport’ - was published in April 2017 and follows seven themes: education, transition (within and when leaving a sport), representation (of participants), equality/diversity/inclusion, safeguarding, mental welfare and safety/injury/medical issues. William Norris QC, a Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, focuses in this article on the circumstances in which a legal as opposed to a moral duty is imposed in English law in the context of the Duty of Care in Sport review. / read more

On 22 May 2017 the Australian Minister for Sport, Greg Hunt MP, released details of a new National Sport Plan (‘Plan’). At this stage full details relating to the Plan have not been announced. To this end, outside of the pillars detailed further below, the announcement represented an opportunity to put forward a vision and seek feedback through a period of public consultation. Garth Towan, Senior Associate in the Sports Business Group at  Lander & Rogers, provides a breakdown of Australia’s new National Sport Plan. / read more

In late April 2017, the Spanish Competition Authority (‘SCA,’ Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia) published its decision following its investigation into the league running Spain’s national first division of professional basketball, known as the ACB (Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto or the Basketball Clubs Association). The SCA imposed a fine of €400,000 on the ACB League for impairing access by basketball teams that had won promotion to the first division from the second tier (Liga LEB ORO) but have never before participated in the ACB League. José Páez, Lawyer at Nebot & Páez Abogados, provides detailed analysis of the SCA’s decision and the wider impact. / read more

About World Sports Advocate

The monthly law publication providing guidance on all aspects of sports law, including licensing and sports data, anti-doping and doping sanctions, TV and broadcasting rights, sport technology, players agents, disciplinary measures, sports integrity, sports betting, player contracts, intellectual property, transfer regulations, sports sponsorship and marketing, and governance, as well as coverage of key legal cases, sporting regulations and governing bodies including the IOC, UEFA and FIFA and sporting events such as London 2012. / read more

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