St John’s Buildings Host Industry Leaders at Football Law Conference

November 29, 2016

St John’s Buildings Barristers’ Chambers brought together industry leading experts from across Europe to chart a way forward for modern football following Brexit at the Football Law Conference.

Taking place at Hotel Football in Manchester, the event brought together over 100 leading sports law and governance experts for the chambers’ first formal event in partnership with Edge Hill University’s Centre for Sports Law Research.

Overlooking Old Trafford and the surrounding city from the hotel’s rooftop football pitch, key football figures such as Yves Le Lostecque, Head of Sport at the European Commission, Wil Van Megen, Legal Director at FIFPro, Jane Purdon, Head of Governance and Leadership at UK Sport, and Simon Barker, Assistant Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) spoke at the event.

The conference consisted of three panels, exploring the international football transfer system and arbitration, football governance, and the implications of Brexit for football.

The conference was followed by a Sportspersons’ Dinner, where guests enjoyed a three-course meal with special guest speaker John Hartson, formerly of Arsenal, West Ham, Celtic and Wales. The dinner raised over £5,000 for Headway, Chambers’ Charity of the Year.

Steven Flynn, Head of St John’s Buildings Sport, Media and Entertainment Law Group, said: “Football has undergone incredible global growth in recent years and this has raised a number of issues. Changes to the regulation of agents as well as challenges to the transfer and arbitration system have had considerable impact on the way the game is governed. Such changes have taken place against the backdrop of the FIFA corruption scandal. All stakeholders are concerned to ensure that the game is heading in the right direction, particularly given the potential implications of Brexit. The opportunity to provide a platform for dialogue at events such as the Football Law Conference is invaluable for the future of the game.

“The event brought together some of the leading experts from the football industry and we are delighted with the quality of the panels and subsequent discussion this conference has created. We look forward to making this a recurring fixture in partnership with Edge Hill University, who deserve great credit for their part in helping to organising it.”