Prague, Czechia

Game Over? Rethinking Sporting Autonomy and Legal Regulation at EU Level Daniela Gschwindt University of Vienna Department of European, International and Comparative Law Schottenbastei 10-16 (Juridicum), Vienna, A-1010 Austria e-mail:

Abstract The lack of comprehensive legal regulation of sport in the EU has never been more evident: The discussion on the football Super League not only (once again) calls into question the demarcation between legitimate supervision and anti competitive behaviour of sport governing bodies, but above all raises fundamental questions of EU competition law. The proposed paper aims to assess whether the current legal framework and the patchwork of CJEU rulings are sufficient to regulate European sport and to curb the abusive sporting autonomy of governing bodies. Does sport really need a monopoly and/or a restriction of competition to exist and ensure its functioning? In particular, the level of justification under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU is examined in more detail. In light of the recent ISU decision, assigning a more assertive role to the EU and the application of competition law to sports issues is more topical than ever, and is gaining momentum as Europe’s most popular sport is on the pitch. Keywords: conflict of interest, EU competition law, justification, sporting rules, Super League JEL Classification: K210 1. Introduction From a competition law perspective, the regulation of sport poses a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, economic actors, such as athletes and clubs, are prevented by (excessive) regulation from enjoying unrestricted competition. On the other hand, without such regulation, sport would be deprived of its sporting and economic substance. Until 2009, the European Union (EU) had no competence in the field of sport. Nevertheless, the Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have previously applied the rules on free movement and competition law to sport when an economic activity was at stake (e.g., C-36/74 Walrave ; C-415/93


Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog