Super League Dispute It s about more than commercial values
The Bowman Decision of the European Court of Justice (ECG) from 1995 has legend status: the commitment of remedies at the end of the contract period was unlawful. In practice, however, the revolution then remained, removal totals are still available, at a considerable amount! But now the ECG should deal with questions in the broader sense, resulting from the dispute between UEFA and the founders of the non-active Super League.
And this procedure has an explosive force that can shake the structures of the European sports model in the form of football pyramid from Champions League at the top to the county league in its foundation. Already on May 27 this year, the Spanish Jurado de Lo Mercantile from Madrid, a commercial court, called the ECG so that he decides on a so-called a preliminary ruling.
What must the European Court of Justice decide?
The request contains basic questions that are important for the contested relationship between UEFA and the founders of the Super League. The ECG should virtually decide whether or under what conditions UEFA may approve the event of the Super League or ultimately prohibit. According to the wish of the Mad rider court, the topic is to choose to decide under economic aspects — whether the freedom of competition, but also other European fundamental freedoms, such as the freedom to provide services or the free movement of work, violates when the UEFA is fighting for the preservation of a permeable football pyramid with unique selling proposition And the Super League to sanctions threatened or interspersed.
But do these questions only use the economy? Or is it more about? Is the European Football Movement not also culture and the famous kit, who holds the company together? If so, that may take care of the European judges. Or are the existing laws not enough?
But before you go to the great consideration of legal goods, you will be free to TRAPATTONI-DUTTUS first the question: What are Super League? There is a new company with private investors and invites all major time-honored European clubs to play out from now on the European Super Champion. Is that because someone is coming and just wants to take over what someone has built and developed into an economic giant — and all without payment of a transfer fee!?
What is the construction work of UEFA really worth?
Who is responsible for the unique success story of the European Cup of the national champion to the Champions League, at least the UEFA, but also the clubs involved — so hen and eggs. And now comes the Restrainer Super League and robs the eggs from the nest?
In order to classify this situation economically and legally, it is to be evaluated what the construction work of UEFA is really worth it, in order to be able to determine if the clubs can just jump from A to B, because they pay the player salaries and not the UEFA? But it will not be that easy, because UEFA has already paid the participants of European competitions since 1955 and made them over decades to what they are now, and especially in the economic sense. So without hen no eggs. Since the Super League can not just come around the corner and say: Sorry, we take over now!
It s about much more than the commercial values
Although the judges should not decide in accordance with the question legislation, whether the Super League would have to pay a transfer fee to UEFA or how high this would be. Before the ECG, no compensation procedure is led to unauthorized power takeover. It s about much more than the commercial values that are achieved in the highest European game class. It would be a fatal signal if the ECG — be it even indirectly — would come to such a result.
Maybe there will be a second European championship soon for the national teams, the Super-European Championship, if that is so easy and the best European national teams with higher premiums are lured.
The athletic idea means for athletes and sports fans that you can only miss the best if this happens in just a single competition. There are sport pyramids that realize about the bandage pyramids. The principle is manifested according to the so-called one-place principle, which many associations have also manifested in their statutes. This is not easy to march as an umbrella organization and arbitrarily prohibit any competition. Nevertheless, the sport is not only economy, but also. He has a special position. Unfortunately, the European laws will not be properly tangible if the sport is primarily in its economic dimension to the legal debate.
Article 165 of the EU Treaty means: The Union contributes to the promotion of the European dimension of sport and takes into account its special features whose structures based on voluntary commitment as well as its social and educational function.
Legal special protection for sports in Europe falls slightly
In 2011, the EU Commission has also made its thoughts and found that sport and EU law would somehow bring in a special harmony. In the position paper with regard to the special position of the sport in Europe states: (…) The concept of special position of the sport is considered if it is assessed whether sport rules are in line with the requirements of EU law (fundamental rights, free movement, discrimination prohibition, Competition etc.).
That would be safe to wish, but a concrete legal protection for the services within the association pyramid in sport does not mean that. In any case, statutory special protection for sports in Europe falls slightly, especially if it is commercially operated. But why should the sport and structures be remedied only because of its commercial effects its special position? The protection of sport pyramids and their services does not have to be outside economic and competitive protection if such protective right is not disproportionate or arbitrarily exercised by the associations.
The unit of amateur and professional ports is guaranteed via the permeability of the association pyramid. Everyone can come to the top, or even at the bottom. Therefore, the boundaries between commercial professional sports and social tasks of sport are blurred completely, as thereby promoting the voluntary commitment, i.e. the honorary office, in particular. That s a good thing, and this protection must not be lost when amateur sports goes into the professional sport. However, the ECG is already required to give the right answers in this blankness — without additional legal protection for the structure of sport pyramids.
The expert — Martin Stopper
Dr. Martin Stopper is one of Germany s most prestigious sports law experts. The lawyer and co-founder of the Munich law firm Gentle Stopper advises various associations and clubs and was a member of the DFL-Taskforce future professional football.