Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy
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Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy

Edited by Jack Anderson, Richard Parrish and Borja García

The EU’s influence on sport has traditionally focused on the socio-economic and cultural impact. This Research Handbook on EU Sports Law explores the development of the 'European dimension' in sport, and the concomitant legal issues including, competition law, state aid and free movement of persons. The application of such areas of EU law to sport and the influence of EU law on key policy issues such as, doping, match-fixing and governance, are detailed in this comprehensive collection. The topical chapters by experts in their field, also touch upon the future evolution of EU sports law.
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Chapter 19: Professional team sports and collective labour law in the European Union

Leanne O’Leary


In the United States of America (USA) the non-statutory labour exemption has enabled professional sports leagues and players’ associations to agree and record measures in a collective agreement which ordinarily may be subject to an anti-trust law challenge. The exemption provides an incentive for the teams in a league in the USA to collectively bargain and agree with the players those employment measures that may be considered anti-competitive. A similar exemption for collective agreements exists in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union that could incentivise the parties in a professional league in the European Union to agree measures such as a salary cap. If introduced through collective bargaining, certain industrial practices that are unique to professional sport may withstand challenge under European competition law.

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