Commercial and Chancery Bar: The law of the game
An interview on a TV chat show in 1981 produced legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly's famous quote: "Someone said 'football is more important than life and death to you' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'." Few will deny the importance of football in the national psyche. But football is now no longer purely a sport. It is an enormous business, with well-known Premiership clubs receiving and spending vast sums of money. The aspiration of every club in each league is to be promoted to the league above; and the dread of every club is the prospect of relegation to the league below. League position determines a club's profitability, as well as its corporate value. To some extent, we are now in a new age where, for the first time, commercial interests threaten to distract the game of football. It was largely because of the onset of the age of professionalism in 1885 that football became a disorganised mess, with games being called off because clubs had arranged more lucrative games elsewhere. It was in this climate (and to bring order to the game) that the Football League was founded, in the Anderton's Hotel in Fleet Street on 22 March, 1888, the brainchild of William McGregor.
This premium content is reserved for
Legal Week Subscribers.
A PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION PROVIDES:
- Trusted insight, news and analysis from the UK and across the globe
- Connections to senior business lawyers within the leading law firms and legal departments
- Optimized access on all of your devices: desktop, tablet and mobile
- Complete access to the site's full archive of more than 56,000 articles
Already have an account? Sign In Now