The European Super League rebels turned to “Bosman lawyer”, Jean-Louis Dupont, to engineer their legal battle with UEFA after the competition ended.
But he is most closely associated with the biggest case in football history, when he was part of the legal team that challenged football’s transfer rules in the European Court of Justice in the 1990s, resulting in the ‘Bosman decision’.
‘Bosman lawyer’ Jean-Louis Dupont is now working with the European Super League
Dupont and his colleagues represented Jean-Marc Bosman, who played for the RFC Liege Belgian team.
In December 1995, Belgian midfielder Jean-Marc Bosman successfully challenged football transfer rules in the European Court of Justice on the basis of trade restriction.
Bosman played for the Belgian side of RFC Liege. His contract had expired in 1990 and he wanted to move to Dunkirk, a French club.
Liège asked a lot for his transfer to Dunkirk and the player was no longer in the first team, his salary was reduced and, in the end, he was left without a club.
He took his case to the Luxembourg court and with the help of Jean-Louis Dupont and others he won.
Bosman’s decision allowed players over the age of 24 to switch clubs without a transfer fee at the end of their contracts and also ended the national league limits for foreign players from other European Union countries.
Dupont went on to lead the case that forced UEFA and FIFA to compensate clubs for injured players on international missions,
And in another case, Dupont forced FIFA to introduce the continental rotation of the World Cup.
Bosman was prevented from moving to the French club Dunkirk. The decision allowed players over the age of 24 and without a contract to move clubs without a fee.
Since then, Dupont has continued to be the scourge of UEFA and FIFA, bringing several lawsuits against international football authorities.
Now Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have hired Dupont and his legal partner and Belgian compatriot Martin Hissel to keep UEFA under control after it launched a disciplinary investigation that could get them banned from the Champions League for two years .
And the first round went to Dupont after a court order forced UEFA to suspend its investigation, leading lawyers to suggest that the three clubs will be admitted to next season’s Champions League competition after all.
The court order, which demanded that the European governing body stop intimidating the Superliga and its participants, was originally made in a Madrid court on April 20, on the eve of the breakup of the separatist project.
It took a long time to reach Nyon, Switzerland, where UEFA is based, and when it finally landed there last week, football authority had to give up, or risk serious damage.
Nine clubs from the 12 founding clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, as well as Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, have already committed to existing international competitions, with the threat of heavyweight fines and expulsion if they renew interest in the separatist project.
The English clubs have also reached an agreement with the Premier League, repeating their apology for entering first.
But Barça, Madrid and Juve have all refused to budge at home or abroad and are trying to use the law to protect them from UEFA’s fury, as well as keep the hopes of a future Super League alive, with Dupont now calling the shots.
“ESL has filed defensive proceedings at the Commercial Court in Madrid to prevent UEFA (and FIFA) from taking punitive action against clubs involved in ESL for competition law reasons and has obtained an interim decision in its favour”, lawyer for competition, Noel Beale, from Burges Salmon, told Sportsmail.
‘The matter has now been referred to an urgent preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice, with perhaps the key question being whether the threatened actions of UEFA and FIFA are anti-competitive and therefore illegal or whether they can benefit from an exemption from competition law .’
UEFA raised lawyers’ eyebrows as it pursued Super League rebels after the Madrid court trial. In a statement released yesterday, the agency made it clear that it believes it has the right to consider disciplinary actions against clubs and claims that it has legal precedent on its side.
“Based on the court order, the three clubs mentioned have sought to protect themselves from potential disciplinary consequences related to this project called the ‘Super League’,” the UEFA statement said.
FIFA and UEFA have threatened clubs and players who have participated in any European Superleague with a ban on their competitions, but lawyers are skeptical of this claim.
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“UEFA understands why the disciplinary process has had to be suspended for the time being, but it remains confident and will continue to defend its position in all relevant jurisdictions.”
But legal opinion is divided. The issues surrounding the Super League’s failed project involve competition law and the right to establish rival competitions. The matter is now being examined by the European Court of Justice – the highest court in Europe – in Luxembourg.
The Spanish judge, who heard the initial case in Madrid, referred the matter to the higher court for legal advice.
Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2018, but UEFA’s action could have led to suspension
Although the latest version of the Super League is dead, ongoing legal action may determine whether creating a rival competition in the future has a solid legal basis.
In addition, it can also determine whether UEFA can take disciplinary action against the rebels.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus never gave up in the Super League. The clubs reiterated their commitment to “modernising football” last month and accused UEFA of “coercion … against three of the most important institutions in football history”.
PROJECT CONDEMNED FROM THE BEGINNING
The football world was shocked after 12 founding members – including the Premier League’s Big Six – signed up for the Super League in April, which threatened the future of UEFA’s elite competitions, the Champions League and the Europa League as well. as the viability of domestic league competitions.
In 48 chaotic hours, amid mass protests from fans, media and politicians across Europe, plans came to a standstill – with the teams withdrawing one by one.
Nine clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, as well as Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, have already committed to existing international competitions, with the threat of heavy fines and expulsion if the renewed interest in the separatist project.
And English clubs on Wednesday reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League, repeated their apologies to fans, other clubs, the Premier League and the FA.
As ‘a gesture of goodwill’, the clubs collectively agreed to make a £22m contribution to grassroots football and good causes.
The Premier League also announced that English clubs had agreed to support rule changes so that any similar action in the future would lead to a 30-point deduction. Each of the six clubs, in that case, would also be subject to an additional £25 million fine.
As part of the rapprochement with UEFA, the contrite nine clubs have agreed to make a willing contribution of €15m (just over £13m) to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe.
They also agreed to retain 5 percent of UEFA competitions’ revenues for one season, with the money to be redistributed.