Centre for Sports Law Research


Centre for Sports Law ResearchIntroduction

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 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.


PhD Completions

The Centre for Sports Law Research welcomes applications from prospective PhD candidates for research into any aspect of sports law and policy. For an informal discussion please contact Professor Parrish and to apply visit Edge Hill’s Graduate School page.

  • Andrea Cattaneo, ‘The Application of EU Competition Law and Sport’ (awarded 2016).
  • Peter Coenen, ‘A European Approach Towards Violence in Football: A Comparative Perspective’ (awarded 2015).
  • Alexandre Mestre, ‘Difficulties and Contradictions in Applying EC Competition Law to Sport’ (awarded 2015).
  • Roberto Branco Martins, ‘Social Dialogue in European Professional Football’ (awarded 2014).



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.

The Centre has undertaken the following consultancy activities:

Consultancy Activities

Research in Action

Research in Action

Shaping European Sports Law and Policy

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. Sports governing bodies have long argued that sport is different to other industries and that the European Union should recognise this ‘specificity’ through the sensitive application of EU law to sporting contexts. For example, unlike in other industries, sports bodies do not set out to eliminate their opponent in the hope of securing market share. Rather sport thrives on healthy competition and mutual interdependence.

EU flag

For most of the history of the EU, sport did not feature in the EU Treaties. Some sports governing bodies argued that this disadvantaged sport because EU internal markets laws were being applied to sport without any counterbalancing force in the Treaties recognising the ‘specificity of sport’. The infamous Bosman ruling of the European Court is often highlighted as an example of this insensitive application.

The entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in December 2009 changed the constitutional landscape for sport. The new Article 165 granted the EU the power to develop a sports policy, and crucially for the sports governing bodies, Article 165 made reference to the ‘specific nature of sport’.

The development and implementation of the EU’s post Article 165 sports policy has been substantially influenced by Professor Richard Parrish, the Director of Edge Hill’s Centre for Sports Law Research. Professor Parrish provided advice and expert testimony to key policymakers: he sat on the European Commission’s Group of Independent Sports Experts (2010), acted as Special Advisor to the UK House of Lords Inquiry into Grassroots Sport and the European Union (2011) and he co-authored the European Parliament Study The Lisbon Treaty and EU Sports Policy (2010). In 2016 Professor Parrish completed his nine month term on the European Commission’s High Level Group on Sports Diplomacy. The group, chaired by former Hungary President, Pál Schmitt, examined how sport can contribute to the delivery of the EU’s external relations agenda.Following the publication of the group’s report, the Council adopted sport diplomacy as a new EU priority in the 2017-2020 EU Work Plan for Sport.

House of Lords

Between 2018-2019, Professor Parrish will lead a major EU funded project looking at the operation of football agents in Europe. The study will explore ways of promoting and supporting good governance in the European football agents industry.

The above research and consultancy has helped define EU policy priorities for sport, shaped the content of sports related legislation and informed the dialogue between the European Commission and sports stakeholders and Member States.

If you would like to learn more about this topic please contact Professor Richard Parrish.

Sports Law Insights

Sports Law Insights

The Two Faces of Sports Law

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logoSports 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 face.

The public face of sports law refers to the approach taken to sport by Government, Parliament and the Courts. The UK operates a non-interventionist sports model which implies an ‘arms-length’ role for the state in sport in which sports are organised by the sporting associations themselves rather than through state legislation. This model reflects the prevailing view in UK politics that sport is essentially a private pursuit to be organised and promoted by private interests. Nevertheless, the state has recognised that as sport performs some public and quasi-public functions, it should retain an interest in the sector, although this interest is generally elaborated through arm’s length / semi-governmental organisations such the Sports Councils. Consequently, in theory at least, sports bodies in the UK retain autonomy to determine their own organisational and regulatory choices free from state interference. In practice, these choices are restricted by statutory and judicial influences on sport most notably in the areas of:

The public face of sports law has been expanded by the increasing involvement of the European Union in sporting matters. In the 1974 Walrave judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union stated that sport is subject to European Union law whenever it is practiced as an economic activity, although some sporting rules, such as rules restricting eligibility to represent a national team, were removed from EU oversight if they amounted to rules of purely sporting interest. The recent approach of the Court is to treat most sporting activity as falling within the scope of EU law, although the Court does recognise that certain sporting rules should be sympathetically treated, particularly within the scope of the Treaty provisions dealing with freedom of movement for workers and competition law. The ability of the European Court to recognise the special characteristics of sport when applying these Treaty provisions has been strengthened by the entry into force of Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which calls upon the institutions of the EU to recognise the specific nature of sport. Although the relationship between UK sport and EU law is in a state of uncertainty following Brexit, the EU has been particularly influential in developing sports law in the areas of:

The private face of sports law refers to the rules and constitutions of sports governing bodies and the jurisprudence of the specialist sports tribunals and appeals bodies. In football, for example, FIFA rules establish the global parameters in which regional confederations, such as UEFA, and national associations, such as the English Football Association, devise their own set of regulations. At each level specialist sports tribunals operate to hear disputes arising from these regulations. These decisions, in some cases, can be appealed to the supreme court of sport – the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The existence of these sports tribunals and CAS has led some commentators to argue that the public face of sports law should step aside to allow sport to develop its own legal system which is more cost effective and quicker than recourse to ordinary courts. This system of sporting justice, which is often referred to as the emerging lex sportiva, has substantially shaped a range of sporting rules including those related to commercial and disciplinary matters.

Jean Monnet Chair

Jean Monnet Chair

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European UnionIn 2016, Richard Parrish, Professor of Sports Law at Edge Hill University, 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.

EU Summer School

Due to the support from the Jean Monnet Chair scheme, Edge Hill University offers a free annual EU Sports Law and Policy Summer School which attracts attendees from across Europe and beyond. The Summer School is delivered by Professor Parrish with assistance from members of the Centre for Sports Law Research and leading academics and practitioners from across Europe. Materials from our Summer School can be found on our EU Summer School page.

In addition to the Summer School, students at Edge Hill have the opportunity to study two sports law modules, one in each semester of year three. Both modules extensively cover issues pertaining to EU sports law and policy including topics discussed on our Sports Law Insights page. In 2018, Professor Parrish edited a collection of essays to accompany the modules.

Research in Action

Professor Parrish has been researching EU sports law and policy for over 20 years. A list of his publications can be accessed at on Edge Hill’s institutional repository.

To mark the occasion of his Jean Monnet award, Professor Parrish co-edited an extensive volume of papers on EU sports law and policy with Professor Jack Anderson and Borja García. The Edward Elgar Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy features essays from leading academics and practitioners from across Europe. The foreword is written by Yves le Lostecque, Head of the Sport Unit in the European Commission.


Throughout the duration of the award, Professor Parrish staged a number of events and provided expert advice at a number of high-profile EU events. Further details of these events can accessed at the Centre for Sports Law Research’s events page.

Professor Parrish has also used his position as Jean Monnet Chair to use evidence based research to inform decisions on EU sports law and policy at official EU level. For example, during the duration of the Jean Monnet award, he has spoken at the following official EU events:

• The European Model of Sport, EU Sport Directors meeting, Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Vienna, 12/12/18.

• The European Model of Sport: How to define it, How to protect it? European Commission, Brussels, 18/09/18.

• The ISU case, EU Sport Forum, Sofia, Bulgaria, 23/03/18.

• EU Sport Diplomacy Seminar, Brussels, 6/12/17.

• ‘Agents and Intermediaries’ panel at EU Sport Forum, Malta, 08/03/17

• European Week of Sport: Flagship Event, Brussels, 16/09/16.

EU Football Agents Project

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

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European UnionThis 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 at @eusportslaw.

If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact Professor Richard Parrish: parrishr@edgehill.ac.uk.


Final Report (PDF)

National Associations’ Report (PDF)


London, September 27th 2018

Our first event took place in Russell Square, London. After a welcome and a short overview of the Erasmus+ football agents project, Professor Richard Parrish handed over to James Johnson, Head of Professional Football at FIFA and chair of the FIFA Transfer System Task Force. Mr Johnson discussed the work of the Task Force and outlined some proposals for agent regulation reform being discussed within it. Representatives from the football world reacted to the presentation, including Dr Roberto Branco Martins from the European Football Agents Association (EFAA), Mr Daan de Jong from the European Club Association (ECA) and Mr Wil Van Megen and Mr Tony Higgins from FIFPro. Nick de Marco QC then presented a number of legal issues for consideration should the new regulations opt for representation and remuneration restrictions. A very lively discussion then ensued with participation from sports governing bodies, academia and many of the leading sports law chambers and law firms from the UK and Europe.

An account of the event was published by Tiran Gunawardena in LawinSport.

Madrid, December 14th 2018

The second MSE was hosted by ISDE Madrid. After a welcome reception and an overview of the Erasmus+ Project given by Professor Carmen Pérez, Julien Zylbertstein, Head of EU & Stakeholders Affairs at UEFA and member of the FIFA Transfer System Task Force, presented an updated of the work of the Task Force. He focused both on the reforms already adopted (i.e. the establishment of a clearing house for international transfers and new operational rules for agents) and on future steps (protection of minors and training compensation/solidarity mechanism reforms). Dr Alberto Palomar, Professor of Administrative Law and Associate at Broseta Lawyers, Dr Jose Rodriguez, Associate at R&C Lawyers, and Ms Laura Hernández, Secretary General of the Spanish Association of Football Agents, reacted to Mr. Zylbertstein analysis. The presentations were followed by a stimulating discussion with participation of Dr Roberto Branco Martins from the European Football Agents Association (EFAA), Mr Daan de Jong from the European Club Association (ECA), Wil van Megen (FIFPRO), and representatives of academia and sports law firms from Spain, Italy and France.
A short overview (in Spanish) can be found here.

Cologne, February 1st 2019

The third MSE took place at German Sport University, Cologne. The event placed its emphasis on the issue of “professional standards: licensing and qualification”. After a panel with national experts from various Central and Eastern European countries shedding light on the implementation of and issues arising from the 2015 FIFA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries, the project team presented its thematic conclusions on this matter (Conclusion on Professional Standards: Licensing and Qualification).

The results and future scenarios for the regulation of players’ agents were commented by stakeholders from the national level, with some focus on Germany, and the international level. The intense discussion among the participating academics, representatives of clubs, associations and players’ unions as well as leading sports lawyers provided important incentives for the further course of the research project and the reform of the regulations alike.

Malmo, April 24th 2019

Protecting Young Footballers

The fourth MSE took place in Malmö and was hosted by Umeå University in cooperation with Malmö University and Malmö FF. The event focused on minor players and consisted of three sessions. The first session focused on young football players, the protection of children’s rights in football and best practice in the field on the basis of presentations by Dr Eleanor Drywood and Dr Serhat Yilmaz. The second session began by a presentation of the project and its interim conclusions regarding young players and agents. This was discussed by a panel consisting of Ondrej Zvara (EFAA), Jes Christian Fisker (DBU) and Tobias Tibell (SvFF) together with the other event participants. The third and final session concerned the role of clubs based on a presentation by Malmö FF regarding how they work with and protect the interests of minor players.

Rijeka, June 10th 2019

It is widely agreed that the 2015 FIFA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries suffered from implementation, enforcement and dispute resolution problems. New agent regulations are currently being discussed by FIFA and the football stakeholders. This event, the fourth in our international series, will discuss a range of options to improve the functioning of the regulations. We will also update participants on the progress of our study to date including explaining key findings on agent remuneration, dual representation, licensing and professional standards. This free event will bring together influential individuals and organisations from the football industry.

Date: Monday 10th June 2019

Location: University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law, Rijeka-Croatia, Hahlić 6, HR-51000 Rijeka

Programme: Rijeka Programme (PDF)

Contact: Professor Vanja Smokvina

Manchester, November 1st 2019

The Final Report will be released at a major sports law event held at the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City FC. A stakeholder panel with participation from FIFA, FIFPro, agents and more will discuss the study and debate the reforms FIFA have made to the international football agent regulations. Also during the day, other panels will discuss contemporary issues in sports law. Please visit the link below to appreciate why it is essential for those involved in the sports industry to attend.

Date: Friday 1st November 2019

Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Programme: Manchester Programme

Contact: Professor Richard Parrish

Project Partners

Professor Richard ParishProfessor Richard Parrish
Edge Hill University

Professor Carmen Pérez GonzálezProfessor Carmen Pérez González
University Carlos III Madrid

Professor Jürgen MittagProfessor Jürgen Mittag
German Sport University, Cologne

Professor Johan LindholmProfessor Johan Lindholm
University of Umeå

Professor Vanja SmokvinaProfessor Vanja Smokvina
University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law

Dr Andrea CattaneoDr Andrea Cattaneo
Edge Hill University

EU Sports Diplomacy Project

EU Sports Diplomacy 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 a Strategic Approach to EU Sports Diplomacy

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logoThis project received financial support under the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme (Collaborative Partnerships).  The project commenced in January 2019 and will conclude in December 2020.

The project is led by Edge Hill University (represented by Professor Richard Parrish) and the project partners are 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 are co-operating with our associate partner, the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) from the Council of Europe.

The aim of our project is to undertake primary research and stage a series of Multiplier Sport Events (MSE) to support EU priorities in the area of sport diplomacy. Our project 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 Sports Diplomacy that produced a report for the European Commission in 2016.


Sports Diplomacy Background Paper (PDF)


Zagreb, June 12th 2019

Best Practice in Sport Diplomacy

Our opening event in the Croatian capital Zagreb examines how, in both historical and contemporary contexts, nation states have employed sport to amplify diplomatic messages. Examples of ad hoc and strategic state sport diplomacy initiatives will be examined, including those from the USA, Australia and Croatia. The event will reflect on the lessons the EU can learn from these experiences and the challenges it faces in developing a sports diplomacy strategy given that the EU is not itself a nation state. The event will hear from some of the leading authorities in sports diplomacy including Professor Stuart Murray (Bond University) and Professor Grant Jarvie (University of Edinburgh).

Registration is free.

Date: Wednesday June 12th 2019

Location: Hotel Academia, Zagreb

Programme: Zagreb Programme (PDF)

Contact: Prof. Vanja Smokvina

Madrid, September 20th 2019

Towards a Strategic EU Sports Diplomacy

Building on our discussion in Zagreb, our second event in Madrid will discuss how the EU can act more strategically in the field of sports diplomacy. It will explore how to develop an organisational culture of sports diplomacy within the EU and how the EU can facilitate the funding of sports diplomacy initiatives. The workshop then examines how the EU can operationalise sports diplomacy initiatives within the context of its external relations policy. In particular, the event will examine how sport can be taken into account in the agreements with third countries, including within the framework of Accession, Association, Co-operation and European Neighbourhood agreements.

Registration is free.

Date: Friday 20th September (tbc)
Location: Madrid
Contact: Prof. Carmen Perez Gonzalez

Strasbourg, November 2019

Co-operation With International Organisations

Our third event will explore how the EU can, in the field of sport and sports diplomacy, develop meaningful relations with international organisations, including the Council of Europe. The workshop will be held in Strasbourg, at the site of the Council of Europe, in order to maximise the participation of its members and members of the EU. We are delighted to co-host this workshop with the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) – Council of Europe.

Registration is free.

Date: Tuesday 26th November 2019
Location: Council of Europe, Strasbourg
Contact: Prof. Albrecht Sonntag

The Hague, February 2020

Our fourth event will gather evidence on the types of sports diplomacy initiatives the EU and its Member States should seek to explore in relation to the staging of major sport events in, and outside, the EU. Specifically, the workshop will examine the types of projects and research the EU should support and it will discuss taking forward the recommendations of the various expert groups established under the 2nd EU Work Plan for Sport as well as Conclusions adopted by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council related to major sport events. The workshop will investigate the contribution the staging of major sport events can make to the EU’s economic objectives of growth, employment and competitiveness and it will examine how the EU can leverage major sporting events to advance key EU goals including human rights, labour rights and environmental protection, and how the EU can advance a sustainable legacy, particularly in time when many EU citizens are growing apathetic or even hostile to the staging of major sport events. The workshop will also tackle the issue of sporting boycotts and whether the creation of a network of sport ambassadors including current as well as former athletes and coaches can add value to EU action in this area.

Registration is free.

Date: February 2020 (tbc)
Location: TMC Asser Institute, The Hague
Contact: Dr Antoine Duval

Skopje, April 2020

Sports Diplomacy in Practice

Our fifth event discusses sports diplomacy initiatives in the Republic of North Macedonia. A project partner is TAKT, an NGO active in North Macedonia that uses sport to bridge cultures, enhance dialogue among communities, fight gender and social discrimination and empower vulnerable groups such as refugees. The event will bring together national ministries from North Macedonia and neighbouring states, national sport bodies, and NGOs. Working with TAKT and other NGOs, the workshop will seek to raise awareness of the opportunities that sport offers and evaluate best practice in relation to, amongst other issues, fighting gender inequality, empowering girls and young women and promoting social inclusion through sport. The workshop will also explore how sport can be employed more systematically within the framework of EU / North Macedonia relations and, by extension, through wider EU / third state relations.

Registration is free.

Date: April 2020 (tbc)
Location: Skopje
Contact: Silvija Mitevska

Brussels, September 2020

Flagship Event

A final ‘Flagship Event’ will be held in Brussels in September 2020 in order to coincide with the European Week of Sport. This Flagship Event will bring together key stakeholders (EU institutions, sports bodies, national ministries, embassy staff, diplomats, NGOs, members of civil society etc). The partners will deliver the key findings of the Final Report and presentations on good practice will be made with the aim of raising awareness amongst the stakeholders regarding the potential of sports diplomacy. A key objective of the event and the report is to inform a strategic approach to sports diplomacy in the framework of the EU and to offer guidance and support to public authorities and relevant stakeholders involved in sports diplomacy issues.

Registration is free.

Date: September 2020 (tbc)
Location: Brussels (tbc)
Contact: Prof. Thierry Zintz

Project Partners

Professor Richard ParrishProfessor Richard Parrish
Edge Hill University

Dr Antoine DuvalDr Antoine Duval
The TMC Asser Institute

Professor Carmen Pérez GonzálezProfessor Carmen Pérez González
University Carlos III Madrid

Silvija MitevskaSilvija Mitevska
Macedonian NGO TAKT

Professor Albrecht SonntagProfessor Albrecht Sonntag

Professor Thierry ZintzProfessor Thierry Zintz
Université Catholique de Louvain

Professor Vanja Smokvina

Professor Vanja Smokvina
University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law

Dr Andrea CattaneoDr Andrea Cattaneo
Edge Hill University

EU Summer School

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logo

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.

2019 Summer School

2018 Summer School

2017 Summer School



The Centre for Sports Law Research has organised the following events:

Seminar on Sport and Human Rights

The Department of Law and Criminology, the Centre for Sports Law Research and the International Justice and Human Rights Unit are pleased to announce a Seminar on Sport and Human Rights.

Sport is a global system that generates its own rules and principles, but operates in the context of universal values, such as fair play, right to participate, and solidarity. Amongst these values, the protection of human rights of athletes, sportspeople, workers and fans must be upheld. The “Sport and Human Rights” seminar will highlight the challenges faced by a private system bound to apply public standards.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Children’s Rights and Sport
  • Human Rights and Sports Governing Bodies
  • The International Olympic Committee and Freedom of Speech


  • Professor Mark James, Manchester Metropolitan Univ
  • Dr Eleanor Drywood, Liverpool University
  • Dr Leanne O’Leary, Edge Hill University


Date: Tuesday March 31st 2020
Location: Law and Psychology Building, Edge Hill University
Event: 2pm- 4pm
Reception: 4pm – 4.30pm

To register for a place please click here

If you require further information contact:

Policing Football

The Department of Law and Criminology, the Centre for Sports Law Research and the Policing Research Unit are pleased to announce an early evening discussion on ‘Policing Football’. Topics for discussion include:

  • Alcohol control: is it time for reform?
  • Safe-standing: opportunity or risk?
  • Football Banning Orders: Effective or punitive?
  • Policing costs: Who pays?
  • Fan culture: Where do the boundaries lie?


  • Dave Charnock, Superintendent, Merseyside Police
  • Amanda Jacks, Case Worker, Football Supporters’ Federation.
  • Dr Geoff Pearson, University of Manchester.
  • Owen West, Retired Chief Superintendent, West Yorkshire Police.


Date: Friday 22 November 2019
Location: Law and Psychology Building, Edge Hill University
Drinks: 5pm – 5.30pm
Event: 5.30pm – 7pm
Reception: 7pm – 7.30pm

The Future of Sports Law and Business Flagship Conference November 2019

With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU SupportKings Chambers, in conjunction with the Centre for Sports Law Research at Edge Hill University, is delighted to present a flagship conference looking at the future issues and opportunities in the sporting sector. This one-day conference brings together leading sports law and business experts from across Europe to offer their insight into current trends and future developments.

Rather than simply provide an update or debate an aspect of an area of sports law, this conference is intended as a critical event for those immersed in the world of sport. The conference will provide the opportunity for those with an interest in sports law, governance and the business of sport, the chance to hear what the leading experts think about the important issues within sport in 2019 and beyond, as well as time to debate, discuss and expand up on the topics discussed throughout the course of the day.

We are particularly pleased to announce that the event will incorporate the release of the findings from a major two-year study, generously supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme, into the regulation of football agents across Europe. Leading industry figures and stakeholders will debate the findings and discuss what the future holds for football agents. Attendance is essential for all those involved in football anywhere across Europe.


Resolving Sports Disputes Public Seminar

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European UnionIn November 2018, the Centre for Sports Law Research held an open public seminar on Resolving Sports Disputes. We are very grateful to our guest speaker, Steven Flynn (Barrister, St John’s Buildings Chambers), Elke Kendall and Matthew Ross (Solicitors, Brabners) and Gareth Farrelly (Solicitor, Bermans), for their contributions. The event was generously supported by the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme, Jean Monnet programme.

Sport & EU Conference 2018

A group photo of staff and delegates at the Sport & EU conference

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logo

Between July 3-4 2018, the Centre for Sports Law Research hosted the 13th annual Sport&EU conference. With over 100 speakers and delegates, this was the largest event in Sport&EU history.

The event brought together leading academics and sports practitioners to discuss the major issues facing sport in Europe. The conference received generous support of the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme.

Sports Law and Business Conference 2018

The International Sports Law and Business conference at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, home of Manchester City Football ClubOn March 16th, the Centre for Sports Law Research, in collaboration with St John’s Buildings Chambers, Manchester, hosted an international Sports Law and Business conference at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, home of Manchester City FC. Over 200 delegates heard industry leading practitioners discuss:

  • Sports Media: Brand Rights in the Digital Single Market
  • E-Sports: Legal issues and opportunities in this developing area
  • Safeguarding: Ensuring the safety of participants & the possibility of future litigation
  • Sports disciplinary and arbitration panels
  • The need for a transfer system in professional sport
  • Equality in sport

Speakers included:

  • Rick Parry, former Head of the Premier League
  • David Conn, The Guardian
  • Clare Briegal, International Netball Federation
  • Ramunas Linartas, European Commission
  • Paul Stewart, former professional footballer. Author of ‘Damaged’
  • Despina Mavromati, sports lawyer
  • Giovanni Branchini, Sports Agent
  • Anna Baumann, eSports lawyer
  • Tom ‘Morte’ Kerbusch, eSports professional
  • Amanda Hill, England and Wales Cricket Board
  • Richard Cramer, Front Row Legal
  • Sam Hillas, Judicial Officer RFU
  • Richard Grundy, Barrister

eSports 2017

Two individuals play FIFA 17 in front of a large TVeSports refers to competitive video gaming. In recent years, eSports has become enormously popular. eSports tournaments are played for money and they can draw huge audiences. The legal issues connected with this activity are little understood and so in March 2017, the Centre for Sports Law Research hosted a half day workshop exploring the governance of sports and examining employment related issues within the industry. Our keynote speaker, Koen Weijland from Ajax FC not only spoke about working within the industry, he also demonstrated his eSports skills by challenging audience members to a game of FIFA 17. Also speaking were Kevin Carpenter, member of the Esports Integrity Coalition, and Robert Branco Martins, a sports lawyer.

Football Law 2016

In November 2016 at the Hotel Football, Old Trafford, Manchester, the Centre for Sports Law Research, in collaboration with St John’s Buildings Chambers, Manchester, hosted an international Football Law conference. Over 100 delegates listened to industry leading speakers discuss the football transfer system, football governance and the consequences of Brexit for football.

Speakers included:

  • Jane Purdon, UK Sport
  • Wil van Megan, FIFPro
  • Malcolm Clarke, Football Supporters Federation,
  • Yves le Losteque, European Commission
  • Carol Couse, Mills and Reeve
  • Simon Barker, Professional Footballers Association
  • Angelique Bret, Pinsent Masons
  • Daniel Geey, Sheridans
  • Mark Hovell, Mills and Reeve
  • Paul Rawnsley, Deloitte
  • Kevin Carpenter, Captivate Legal
  • Stuart Baird, Centrefield
  • Roberto Branco Martins, European Football Agents Association

Previous Events



To contact the Centre, please email Professor Richard Parrish.

Edge Hill University
Centre for Sports Law Research
St Helens Road
L39 4QP
United Kingdom

01695 657609