Seminar: The Future of European Sports Law: The Lisbon Treaty and Sport

17th Mar 2010 - 12:00pm

Business School

Three of the UK’s most distinguished sports law experts are joining forces for an event hosted by the Department of Law and Criminology at Edge Hill University.

Maurice Watkins, a Director of Manchester United and Senior Partner at leading law firm Brabners Chaffe Street, will share his views with Professor Stephen Weatherill, of the University of Oxford, and Ken Foster of the University of Westminster.

The debate is entitled ‘The Future of European Sports Law: The Lisbon Treaty and Sport’. The Treaty came into effect on 1 December 2009 with the aim of reforming the EU and making it more efficient, democratic and transparent. The three speakers will be discussing the meaning of a clause in the Treaty which refers to ‘the specific nature of sport’.

The event has been organised by Professor Richard Parrish, Director for the Centre for Sports Law Research at Edge Hill. He said: “Since the Bosman judgment the governing bodies of sport have lobbied for a sports article in the Treaty as a means of protecting the specificities of sport from the application of European law. Our speakers will debate the impact of the Lisbon article on current issues in European sports law such as the home-grown players rule and measures designed to promote financial fair play in football.”

Maurice Watkins is a prominent name in English football. He has handled numerous high value soccer transfers and represents international clubs and players before all of the sport’s disciplinary bodies. He is a regular speaker on football issues at home and abroad, and holds a number of key positions including Director of the British Association for Sport and Law and Member of the FA Premier League Legal Advisory Group.

Professor Stephen Weatherill is the Jacques Delors Professor of European Community Law at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Institute of European and Comparative Law. He is a leading international authority on the law of the European Union and has, for many years, provided the most authoritative commentary on the relationship between sport and EU law.

Ken Foster pioneered the academic discipline of sports law. He was the first UK academic to offer a sports law module to students in 1987, while working at the University of Warwick. His research into professional sport in the European Union, the football transfer system and the legal regulation of international sporting federations has been widely published.

This free public event takes place on Wednesday March 17 at noon in the Business and Law Lecture Theatre. If you would like to attend, email Professor Parrish at or call 01695 657609.