Bishop & Sewell

The drivers’ Formula One championship has been decided for 2022, but there is still controversy over the legitimacy of Max Verstappen’s first win, in 2021, following Red Bull’s breaking of the cost cap according to the FIA, the sport’s governing body, writes David Little, a Partner in our Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

The breach of the £129 million budget cap, for motor manufacturers the FIA declared, ‘was minor’, which constitutes overspending by anything up to five per cent – as much as £6.5m. Not necessarily minor by most people’s calculations.

On and off the cricket pitch accusations of racism destabilised one of England’s leading county cricket teams this season to such an extent that Yorkshire County Cricket Club played so poorly they were relegated and will play in the second division.

An entirely different sport, Rugby Union, finds itself mired in argument and crisis as well. On the one hand there two professional clubs who have fallen into administration. The once mighty Wasps, based in Coventry, and Worcester Warriors will not play in professional leagues.

And then there’s the beautiful game itself… I could mention the World Cup in Qatar and accusations of malfeasance and abuse of immigrant workers. But let’s leave that for another column.

We could have added gymnastics, cycling and the Olympics easily to the list.

What unites the professional sports mentioned above? These stories all highlight how valuable is the advice and guidance of an experienced lawyer.

In every instance the calamity befalling each of these sports will now no doubt be costing many thousands of pounds in fees to untangle. Much better to have used the guidance and reassurance of a professional legal expert to have anticipated in advance, ‘What might happen, if…?’ and avoid them altogether.

Contact our Corporate & Commercial Team

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB356 on either 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 30 November 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 30th Nov 2022

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