What We Do

Sports

Provided great support and guidance in the legal process surrounding our applications to the Court, Invaluable help and extremely professional.
Dr. Denise Barrett-Baxendale, CEO, Everton FC
Mark appeared for me in the High Court to obtain an Order in an urgent matter. His tenacity ensured a great result for me.
Marounne Fellaini, Manchester United FC
Mark has handled media issues for me. I need the best people outside the ring to help me be the best in it.
Amir Khan, Ex-World Champion Boxer
I've worked with Mark Manley on numerous occasions. He's always very effective and professional. I would always recommend him.
Micah Richards, Aston Villa FC
Mark is a clear leader in his field. His drive, experience and knowhow are all part of his offering.
Ian Ayre, Former Managing Director, Liverpool FC

We understand what it takes to make it in the world of professional sports — legal disputes are a distraction you don’t need.

We’ve advised on sports law for more than 30 years and we’ve built close relations with those involved in professional sports. We’re there supporting and advising clubs, players, managers, agents and associations, dealing with all manner of legal issues and disputes.

You keep your focus on your game.

How we can help

We advise on all types of legal issues affecting professional sports today.

Reputation Management & Defamation

Don’t take a chance with your reputation if you’re the victim of a defamatory post on social media; if you are the subject of a damaging story in the papers; if your club is the subject of unwarranted claims about finance or transfers.

We are highly experienced defamation lawyers and reputation management experts. We secure the removal of online content.  

Privacy

We have obtained injunctions to prevent publication of private matters for several UK and foreign footballers. We obtained one urgent privacy injunction at the High Court one evening against The Sun whilst the player was actually on the pitch!

We have acted to prevent the sale of private information for players – resulting on one occasion in a prison sentence for the culprit who sought to blackmail our client.

Disclosure and Spartacus Orders

Our lawyers recently acted for a Premiership Club to obtain an Order from the Court forcing a major telecommunications organisation to reveal to us the details relating to the sending of confidential emails. We obtained full particulars of the address from which the emails were sent. Such orders are becoming common in relation to invasions of privacy.

Sports Contracts & Commercial Agreements

We have successfully represented a National Football Association in a dispute with a Club within its jurisdiction regarding an affiliation issue which resulted in a sanction for the Club.

Disciplinary Hearings

We have acted for Premiership Clubs in connection with disciplinary action taken against players relating to issues on and off the field. We have also substantial experience advising on FA Rule K Arbitrations.

False Endorsement / Intellectual Property issues

The commercial side of professional sports demands proper handling. Particularly where a player/athlete has existing sponsorship and endorsement contracts with exclusivity provisions, issues regarding improper use of image can have significant business implications.

We are experienced advisers to sportspeople whose images have been used without licence, successfully achieving the remedies sought by our client including damages.

We have also negotiated endorsement agreements with household name brands on behalf of sports players, to maximise commercial interests.

Football Transfers and Registrations

As an FA Registered Football Agent, Mark Manley advises players and clubs at short notice on transfers and player registrations.

We have also been involved in the negotiation of transfers of foreign players to UK clubs and have advised on contractual issues connected with those deals.

We have a close relationship with one of the UK’s leading image right experts who is able to provide all necessary advice regarding the tax and other benefits of the establishment of an image rights company.

We have also acted for footballers in professional negligence actions against solicitors who have failed to properly handle football transactions.

Player Testimonials

A testimonial year requires significant planning, organisation and legal advice relating to the charitable implications, status and requirements of the testimonial, taxation implications, commercial negotiation and event management.

Mark Manley has been appointed to several Testimonial Committees, including Dave Watson (Everton FC), Ronnie Moran (Liverpool FC) and Jamie Carragher (Liverpool FC).

Injunctions

We routinely obtain and fight injunction applications on behalf of footballers, clubs and other sports professionals. We provide initial advice on the immediate threat and obtained injunctions for Premiership to prevent publication of private information – typically at very short notice.

Recent Sports Law Experience:

  • Phone hacking claims - We are pursuing claims on behalf of professional footballers who have been victims of phone hacking, securing compensation and apologies for invasion of privacy.
  • Football sexual abuse claims - Representing former football players in highly sensitive historic sexual abuse claims.
  • Securing superinjunctions - We are experienced in seeking superinjunctions on behalf of professional sportsplayers to prevent publication of damaging material. One injunction was won while our premiership client was on the pitch!
  • Pursuing football defamation claims for Managers, Players and Agents.
  • Represented several Premier League clubs in respect of unwarranted claims made in the national media about finance, transfers.
  • Premiership football contract disputes - Advising football manager in contract claim against former Premiership club.
  • Represented athletes in disputes regarding Olympic Games selection.

For all enquiries, please call 01244 230000 and a member of our team will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can fill out a quick form on our contact page.

Contact us