Sports Law: What Does it Involve?

Sports law isn’t commonly talked about, but is an incredibly important and useful facet of the legal system. Whether representing a high-profile sports club, a governing body, a sponsor, or a smaller profile player or club, sports law is integral to the sporting industry.

The world of sport is incredibly popular, and followed by millions around the world. There are certain standards that should be upheld during matches, events, tournaments and more, and if these standards aren’t maintained, then there could be a law suit for a sports lawyer.

Sports law issues

While first thoughts regarding sports law may go to lawyers representing players involved in scandals or allegations, there is far more than that involved in sports law. When you realise that clients can include governing bodies, anti-doping bodies, broadcasters, international federations, production companies, sponsors, investors, athletes, players, teams and more, it really opens your eyes to the potential issues that could arise in sports related law suits.

Recent examples of high profile sports law suits include Chelsea Football Club’s dismissal of team doctor Eva Carneiro, who settled a dismissal and discrimination case against the club’s former manager Jose Mourinho. There is also the notorious Russian doping scandal, which has led to only one Russian athlete being allowed to compete at Rio 2016 or frequent law suits against fantasy sport league websites and apps. Sports related law suits are more and more commonplace, but aren’t always publicised.

On a very basic level, sports law can be divided into two key areas – regulatory issues, or commercial and financial disputes. Regulatory issues tend to focus on the rules of the sport and breaches of these rules that can occur. Commercial or financial issues often revolve around the world of player and athlete contracts, although sports law is also heavily involved in stadium development, financial administration rights, sponsorship deals and broadcasting rights.

On top of this, there are other elements that cannot be sorted into either of these categories. Negligence in high contact sports has become more prominent, and can lead to dangerous outcomes. As well as this, there have recently been more issues with spectators with regards to racial chanting, which crosses into criminal law too. Social media can also cause a problem, with a number of sports people or organisations perhaps publishing ill-advised tweets.

How can sports lawyers help

Sports lawyers are experts in their field, and know all the ins and outs of the legal stipulations and rules surrounding the industry. They have a vested interest in making sure their clients are well represented, and protected from any pitfalls they may encounter during their time in the sporting world. Their vast experience means that within a team, they’ve probably come across a wide range of the possible issues that can be helped by sports law.

At PinderReaux, we are proud to have a dedicated specialist sports law team who have a large amount of experience with different aspects of sports related law, and the cases that can arise from them. You can find more information out about our niche specialist law firm on our website here.