Tackling Legal Disputes – North West Football Club Facing Potential Penalty

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Posted in:Corporate and Commercial, Litigation|March 22, 2013 | Join the mailing list

Perhaps unsurprisingly, an area where disputes often arise is in Football. Football clubs in England are regulated by the Football Association, however sometimes a loophole in FA rules prevents remedial action being taken. This can be frustrating
for clubs who feel they’ve been treated unfairly.

This has certainly been the case for Newcastle United recently, when Wigan Athletic’s Callum McManaman injured Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara in what has been referred to as a ‘horror tackle’.

Under their own rules, the FA can only take retrospective action if match officials claim not to have seen the incident. Whilst the incident was allegedly not seen by the referee, whose view was obstructed by another player, the linesman
saw the challenge and did not consider it a serious offence. The FA believes that to challenge the decisions of match officials would undermine their authority.

Some newspapers have reported that Newcastle United have considered suing Wigan Athletic. Indeed, Newcastle may believe they have a strong case if they decide to seek compensation. Manager Derek Lambias said in a statement that "It was not
a fair challenge, this view is shared by countless former players, referees and well-respected media commentators." Lambias continued to comment that the current disciplinary procedures of the FA are "not fit for purpose."

Suing for compensation is certainly not unheard of in football. In 2008, former Manchester United trainee Ben Collett was awarded compensation for loss of future earnings after suffering a career ending injury. Collett had been compared to
a young Ryan Giggs, and there was strong evidence that he would have otherwise progressed to become a professional champion football player. For this reason, Collett was awarded the sum of £4.3 million.

Depending on the seriousness of the injury to Haidara, Newcastle have stated that they may take legal action against Wigan.

It is clear that disputes can arise in a variety of contexts. Of course, each dispute is unique; Berg has the experience and knowledge to deal with each case on its own merits to obtain a commercial outcome based on our client’s goals and

Berg’s team of tough litigators will take on any type of commercial dispute and will not pull any punches along the way.  The Berg Dispute Resolution Team has built a formidable reputation for its robust and commercial approach in relation
to complex commercial disputes.

For more information about any aspect of Dispute Resolution at Berg, please contact Damian Carter on 0161 833 9211 or email
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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