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The Government is expected to issue the long-delayed white paper on the Gambling Act Review which will set out its policy position in several key areas including the sponsorship of sport by gambling companies and the role of the Gambling Commission and the resources and powers available to it, writes David Little, a Partner in our Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

New concussion guidelines for grassroots sport are also expected in line with the commitments made in the Government’s response to the Select Committee inquiry on Concussion in Sport.

Sadly, rising energy costs continue to put significant pressure on community sports facilities and providers. Without further intervention, a series of widespread closures is likely to put grassroots community participation at risk. The sector will therefore be watching closely for the outcome of the review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) which is expected to identify those sectors which will receive further support with rising energy costs beyond March 2023.

The growing impact of new technology and the increased potential for commercial exploitation of player data during matches, where there is a strong case that players have not consented to such commercial exploitation is another growing area of sports law.

Barrister Nick De Marco KC, of Blackstone Chambers writing about ‘New Technology and the Increased Potential for Commercial Exploitation of Sport by third parties’ suggests The ‘Project Red Card’ case, in which he is involved has already been dubbed by some as potentially “football’s most seismic legal development since the Bosman ruling in 1995”.

The international football players’ union, FIFPro, has recently issued its own ‘Charter of Player Data Rights’ demonstrating that the future use of players’ data is likely to continue to be a contentious issue. So too will the growing impact of e-sports, cryptocurrency, NFTs and other new ‘metaversal’ products on sport, some of which have already been shrouded in considerable controversy.

Staying with football, the move towards an independent statutory regulator of football is likely to move forward in 2023. Following the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance chaired by Tracey Crouch MP, the government originally agreed to bring in the statutory regulator recommended, only for the proposal to be dropped by the short Liz Truss regime. Recent press reports suggest the new Rishi Sunak government, like the Labour opposition, is committed to bringing the regulator in, with a White Paper predicted to be produced in around May 2023.

Finally, there is the spectacle of the controversial European Super League court case due in early 2023. Following the recent non-binding Opinion of the Advocate General of the CJEU (in favour of UEFA and FIFA), will the CJEU’s final judgement align with the Opinion, or will the 15 judges of the Grand Chamber leave the door open for ESL clubs to take on UEFA?

It’ll all kick off, whatever their verdict.

 

Contact our Sports Lawyer

David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB375 on either 020 7631 4141 or email company@bishopandsewell.co.uk

The above is accurate as at 16 January 2023. 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: 16th Jan 2023


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