Historic result for PFA in salary cap case

Mills & Reeve has successfully represented the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in its challenge of salary caps for players in Leagues One and Two.

After a well-publicised dispute, it was announced today (9 February 2021) that an independent arbitration panel has ruled in favour of the PFA finding that the English Football League (EFL) was in breach of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee's (PFNCC) constitution by introducing salary caps in League One and League Two in August 2020 without proper consultation.

This ruling, which represents a landmark moment in English football, requires the EFL to immediately withdraw the salary cap rules. The PFA and the EFL will now work together to seek to establish more appropriate regulations that ensure the financial stability of all football clubs going forward.   

The PFA said they welcome the fact that “the salary cap rules are automatically withdrawn and hopes to open constructive dialogue to agree reasonable and proportionate cost control measures for the future”.

Mark Hovell, Partner and head of the firm’s Sports sector commented: “This case was crucial for the rights of professional players. It’s important that their voice be heard when putting financial regulations in place.”

Mark Hovell and Phil Hutchinson of Mills & Reeve’s Sports Team (instructing Nick De Marco QC and Ravi Mehta of Blackstone Chambers) represented the PFA in this matter. 

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