Serby_2016.pdf (571.39 kB)
The state of EU sports law: lessons from UEFA’s ‘Financial Fair Play’ regulations
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:00 authored by Tom Serby
The EU’s sporting competence derives from the legal norm, established by the European Court of Justice, that requires that ‘sporting rules’ of sports governing bodies which have an economic impact and which breach the fundamental freedoms or competition law can only be justified if shown to be a proportionate response to an inherent need in the sport. However, the certainty of this norm is undermined by the EU’s subsequent Treaty competence for sport, a political compromise, which is ambiguous, and which in due course generated the European Commission’s sports policy, with its emphasis on governance and social dialogue. Consequently, EU sports law has evolved into ‘soft law’ which is far from coherent. This is demonstrated in the tolerance shown for certain of UEFA’s ‘sporting rules’, notably its Financial Fair Play Regulations, which restrict competition and lack proportionality yet have not attracted sanction from the European Commission (a sports law policy which could be characterised as not even constituting soft law but delegalisation).
Publication titleInternational Sports Law Journal
- Published version