Does the Outsourcing of a Sports League Affect Its Evaluation under EU Competition Law?

By Norros, Olli | The International Sports Law Journal, July-October 2011 | Go to article overview

Does the Outsourcing of a Sports League Affect Its Evaluation under EU Competition Law?


Norros, Olli, The International Sports Law Journal


In Europe national sports leagues are usually organized to be overseen by a national federation of each sport. However, it is quite common that a national federation does not itself organize the league but assigns the organizing task to a separate legal entity, usually controlled by the teams that play in the league. The league corporation may be formed for example as a non-profit association, as a limited-liability company, or as a cooperative society. Professional sports leagues are a sensitive branch of business from a competition law perspective. The aim of this paper is to discover whether the outsourcing of sports league functions affects their evaluation from the point of view of EU competition law. The current prevailing view seems to be that the outsourcing of league functions could well be significant for different aspects of competition law. However, this paper argues that the outsourcing actually seems to be a neutral measure in light of competition law.

1. Introduction

1.1 The aim of the Paper

The aim of this paper is to answer the following two-pronged question: is the evaluation of a sports league under EU competition law altered according to whether a national sports federation 1) organizes the league itself or 2) assigns the organizing functions to a separate legal entity such as a company owned by the league teams. As is described in more detail later, the current prevailing view seems to be that the outsourcing of league functions could well be significant for different aspects of competition law. However, this paper questions the prevailing view arguing that the outsourcing actually seems to be a neutral measure in light of competition law. Before defining the subject more precisely we must take a look on the two backgrounds of the theme, first outsourcing of league functions generally and then the application of competition law to league sports.

1.2 General Remarks on the Outsourcing of League Functions

Sports leagues are an important form of competition both in amateur and professional sports. However, an unambiguous definition of a sports league is difficult to determine. Usually a sports league is understood to be a series of matches involving team ball play, in which each team plays a predetermined number of matches against the other teams in the same league and receives points depending on the end result of each game. The champion of the league may be decided directly according to which team has achieved the most points, as has traditionally been the case in soccer leagues in most countries, or the competition may continue after the prescheduled matches as an elimination tournament as happens for instance in the North American National Hockey League (NHL).

In Europe national sports leagues are usually organized to be overseen by a national federation of each sport. For example, in the UEFA Statutes a league is defined as "a combination of clubs within the territory of a Member Association and which is subordinate to and under the authority of that Member Association". (1) However, it is quite common that a national federation does not itself organize the league but assigns the organizing task to a separate legal entity, usually controlled by the teams that play in the league. I refer to this kind of assignment hereafter as the outsourcing of league functions.

The initiative to outsource league functions usually comes from the league teams themselves, when they wish to increase their influence in the administration and commercial exploitation of the league. (2) The league teams' confidence in the national federation's abilities to administer the league may be reduced by the fact that the league clubs usually constitute only a small minority of all clubs that belong to the federation. This prevents the league clubs from exercising too much voting power in the federation even when the league clubs are unanimous in certain question. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Does the Outsourcing of a Sports League Affect Its Evaluation under EU Competition Law?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.