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Centre for Sports Law Research

The Centre for Sports Law Research is engaged in funded consultancy for both public and private bodies on issues relevant to the legal regulation of sport. The centre has a particular focus on the intersection between sport and European law, but is also engaged with questions on both global and national levels.

Centre for Sports Law Research logo

Centre staff have produced reports and expert advice for a number of bodies, including the European Parliament, the European Commission and the House of Lords. Centre staff regularly give papers at professional and academic events worldwide.

The centre welcomes proposals for collaborative ventures.

The director of the Centre for Sports Law Research (CSLR) is Professor Richard Parrish, Jean Monnet Chair of EU Sports Law and Policy. Co-ordinating CSLR activities is Adam Pendlebury with other full-time members being Dr Andrea Cattaneo and Dr Leanne O’Leary who is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel of arbitrators.

We are delighted to have worked with some of the most notable sports law practitioners in the UK and abroad. Currently, we work with Steven Flynn, Barrister at Kings Chambers Manchester, Nick Harrison, Barrister at 18 St John Street Chambers Manchester, Gareth Farrelly, Solicitor at Bermans and CAS arbitrator, and James Pearson, member of the renowned Brabners sports law team.

Our centre regularly collaborates with universities from across Europe. We are delighted that two leading academics are members of the CSLR. Professor Carmen Perez Gonzalez from the University Carlos III (Madrid) and Professor Vanja Smokvina from the Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka are long standing collaborators with us.

A number of our former students have gone on to work in the sports industry. Gareth Farrelly (LLB) is a solicitor at Bermans, member of the Football Association’s Regulatory Commission and a CAS arbitrator. James Pearson (LLB) is a solicitor working within the Brabners sports law team. Dr Alexandre Mestre (PhD) is a sports lawyer in Lisbon and former Secretary of State for Sport in the Portuguese Government. Dr Roberto Branco Martins (PhD) is a sports lawyer in the Netherlands and General Counsel for the European Football Agents Association. Dr Andrea Cattaneo (PhD) is an academic at Edge Hill University. Dr Peter Coenen (PhD) worked at the University of Maastricht.


The centre is engaged in funded external consultancy within its fields of expertise, and has a number of international partners with which projects requiring external expertise can be completed. To discuss a proposal and costings, please contact the director, Professor Richard Parrish.

Consultancy activities

Research in action

The Centre for Sports Law Research at Edge Hill University has been at the forefront of developments shaping the content and direction of EU sports law and policy and influencing standards in international sports governance. Below are a selection of some of our activities.

Influencing International Sports Governance
Shaping EU Sports Policy
Informing the Regulation of Football Agents
Promoting a Strategic Approach to EU Sports Diplomacy
Shaping Approaches to Nationality Discrimination in Sport

Sports Law Insights

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The two faces of sports law

Sports law is a fascinating and rapidly developing field of legal practice and academic inquiry. It is an area of law that presents two faces: a public and a private.

The public face of sports law
The private face of sports law

Jean Monnet Chair

In 2016, Professor of Sports Law at Edge Hill University Richard Parrish, was awarded the title of Jean Monnet Chair in EU Sports Law and Policy by the EU. Professor Parrish is the first Edge Hill academic to receive this accolade, which is named after one of the founding fathers of the European Union. The title is awarded by the EU following a worldwide call for applications. The Jean Monnet Chair is awarded to academics, policymakers, professionals and members of civil society who are active in the field of EU studies.

Throughout the duration of the award, running from 2016 to 2019, Professor Parrish has embarked on a programme of activities designed to advance awareness and understanding of EU sports law and policy.

European summer school
Research in action

EU Football Agents Project

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Promoting and supporting good governance in the European football agents industry

This project received financial support under the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme (Collaborative Partnerships). The project commenced in January 2018 and will conclude in December 2019. The project is led by Edge Hill University (represented by Professor Richard Parrish) and the project partners are the Universidad Carlos III Madrid, the German Sport University Cologne, the University of Umeå in Sweden and the University of Rijeka in Croatia.

The focus of this project is to undertake evidence based research in order to promote and support good governance in the context of the regulation of football players’ agents (now referred to as ‘intermediaries’) in the EU.

Throughout the duration of the project, we will be hosting a series of international seminars designed to foster dialogue between the football stakeholders. We will also be undertaking an ambitious research plan which will detail how the FIFA Regulations on Working With Intermediaries have been implemented by national football associations across the EU.

For further information on the project, see the EU’s Erasmus+ page and follow us on Twitter. If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact Professor Richard Parrish.


EU Sport Diplomacy Project

This project received financial support under the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme (Collaborative Partnerships). The project commenced in January 2019 and concluded in December 2021 following a Covid-19 extension.

Promoting a strategic approach to EU sport diplomacy

The project was led by Edge Hill University (represented by Professor Richard Parrish) and the project partners were the Universidad Carlos III Madrid, The University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law, the TMC Asser Institute, ESSCA, Université Catholique de Louvain and the Macedonian NGO TAKT (Together Advancing Common Trust). We co-operated with our associate partner, the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) from the Council of Europe.

The project undertook primary research and staged a series of Multiplier Sport Events (MSE) to support EU priorities in the area of sport diplomacy. The project outcomes will help the EU adopt a strategic approach to sport diplomacy and provide evidence of instances where sport can help amplify key EU diplomatic messages and help forge better diplomatic relations with third countries.

Some members of the project team, including the project lead, were members of the EU’s High-Level Group on Sport Diplomacy that produced a report for the European Commission in 2016.  Project lead, Professor Richard Parrish, is also a member of a second Erasmus+ funded project examining the development of EU sport diplomacy. For further details see the TES-D project, Towards an EU sport diplomacy.


Final report Executive summary Sport and citizenship

EU summer school

In 2016, Professor Richard Parrish was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in EU Sports Law and Policy. To mark this achievement, the Centre for Sports Law Research now offers an annual EU Sports Law and Policy Summer School. The first such Summer School was held at Edge Hill University at the end of August 2017. With the generous support of the EUs Erasmus + Programme, the events were offered free of charge and they attracted delegates from across Europe. In addition to the classes delivered by Professor Parrish, delegates were able to learn from a number of experts from the Sport & EU community.


To contact the centre, please email Professor Richard Parrish.