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Author: Richard Parrish

The increasing commercialisation of sport raises important questions concerning regulation. The development of the European Union (EU) and the internationalization of sporting competition have added an international dimension to this debate. Yet sport is not only a business, it is a social and cultural activity. Can regulation at the EU level reconcile this tension? Adopting a distinctive legal and political analysis, this book argues that the EU is receptive to the claim of sport for special treatment before the law. It investigates the birth of EU sports law and policy by examining the impact of the Bosman ruling and other important European Court of Justice decisions, the relationship between sport and EU competition law, focusing particularly on the broadcasting of sport, the organization of sport and the international transfer system, and the relationship between sport and the EU Treaty, focusing in particular on the impact of the Amsterdam and Nice declarations on sport and the significance of the Helsinki report on sport. This text raises questions concerning the appropriate theoretical tools for analysing European integration.

Richard Parrish

international transfer system and nationality restrictions with EU competition law, the Commission held the view in the aftermath of Bosman that ‘this is not a reason for not taking into account the application of the competition rules’ (Commission of the European Communities 1996: 3). Amendments to the international transfer system made by FIFA/UEFA in light of the ruling in Bosman would therefore have to satisfy the Commission. There can be little doubt that the functioning of international transfer rules is subject to scrutiny by the Commission. International football

in Sports law and policy in the European Union
Richard Parrish

Belgian footballer, successfully challenged UEFA’s use of nationality restrictions and the international transfer system. Walrave, Donà, Heylens and Bosman are examples of cases where the subject matter just so happened to be sport. The well-established principles of the free movement of workers and the freedom to provide services simply became applied to sporting contexts. Although the ECJ did make reference to the specific characteristics of sport, particularly in Bosman, the principles were applied in a manner irrespective of the subject matter. The European

in Sports law and policy in the European Union
Richard Parrish

in Deliège and Lehtonen mark a more substantial application of the view expressed in Bosman. In Bosman, the ECJ defined the operation of the international transfer system for football and the use of nationality quotas in sport as falling within the EU judicial territory. In Deliège and Lehtonen the ECJ has identified selection criteria and 210 Sports law and policy in the European Union transfer windows as falling within the territory of sporting autonomy. In essence Deliège and Lehtonen establish that the rules which sports bodies retain competence over concern

in Sports law and policy in the European Union
Richard Parrish

created. Nevertheless, the impact of Bosman on sport had immediate effects (see for instance Morris et al. 1996, Miller 1996, Gardiner et al. 1998, Beloff et al. 1999 and Caiger and Gardiner 2000). First, clearly the international transfer system and nationality rules had to be re-modelled. Nevertheless, the ruling does not directly affect transfers when a player is in contract. The ruling only affects players who are out of contract. Second, internal transfer rules remain only theoretically untouched by Bosman because the ECJ decided to base the ruling on Article 39

in Sports law and policy in the European Union
Richard Parrish

rights of workers and consumers within the EU. For example in 1989 the Van Raay report condemned the use of nationality restrictions and the international transfer system.4 The Larive report on the European Community and sport5 The 1994 Larive report was the result of a number of sports-related reports stemming from the Parliament. These reports included ‘Sport and the Community’, ‘Women in Sport’, ‘Vandalism and Violence in Sport’ and ‘Sport in the European Community and a People’s Europe’.6 The Committee on Culture, Youth, Education and Media was responsible for the

in Sports law and policy in the European Union