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Rovers challenge relegation

Bristol Rovers claim that Wycombe Wanderers have breached Football Association rules on third party ownership, thereby gaining an unfair competitive advantage and are consulting sports lawyers.

It is difficult to see this particular complaint going very far, but one can expect more legal challenges to promotion and relegation as sports lawyers hone their skills.

Former Leeds MD arrested

The former Leeds United managing director David Haigh has been arrested in Dubai and has spent the last four nights in jail.  He was detained while visiting the offices of Gulf Finance House (GFH), the former owners of the club.

He had flown to Dubai after the offer of a new job by GFH.   The club's former owners have accused him of financial irregularities which he strenuously denies.

Legal challenge to 3pm blackout

The televising of games at 3pm on Saturdays has been banned on the grounds that it would hit lower league attendances.   However, a report pubished by the EU has questioned whether the restriction can be legally upheld, given that it is also imposed on other European broadcasters.

A report from the Asser International Sports Law Centre in the Netherlands says that the blackout 'sits at odds with the European Commission's aspirations to promote cross-border access to audiovisual content.'

Lawyers brought into relegation fight

Sunderland looked as if they had pulled off 'the great escape' with their victory over Manchester United yesterday, but now they face a legal challenge that could put them back in the relegation zone. 

Cellino would be banned under new government rules

Exasperation with the ineffectiveness of the Football League's test for directors of football clubs is one factor has led Business Secretary Vince Cable to formulate new rules to ban 'dodgy directors'.   Those who have committed purely commercial offences would be banned under the new rules.

Leeds decision deferred

Massimo Cellino''s appeal against his disqualification as a prospective owner of Leeds United was heard in London yesterday, but the independent QC in charge of the appeal has reserved judgment while he considers the arguments put forward.   This at least implies that he thought Cellino had a case worthy of further consideration.

Leeds press for takeover decision

Leeds United are pushing for a decision in the next 24 hours on whether Massimo Cellino's takeover of the club will be approved.   They wrote  to the Football League's in-house lawyer, Nick Craig, on Thursday morning.

Bayern Munich tainted by association

We are always being told by David Conn and other advocates of transplanting the 'German model' into English football (and other aspects of UK life) that the Bundesliga and its clubs are in effect morally superior to those in the Premiership. They charge fans less, have more fan involvement and have managed to be both ethical and profitable.

Blues in limbo following Yeung sentence

Despite the 'business as usual' signs hanging outside Birmingham City, the club faces a period of uncertainty following the six year sentence imposed on owner Carson Yeung for money laundering.

The club must wait until next month to see if prosecutors seize all his assets, including his shares in the Blues. He is understood to have attempted to sell his shares.

Uncertainty over Liverpool and FFP rules

There is some uncertainty about whether or not Liverpool will satisfy Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules after the publication of broadly encouraging financial results earlier this week which the club claims will usher in a new era of financial stability.

Of course, there is uncertainty about how the rules will apply to any club, given that the devil is in the detail. The decisions will be as much political as legal ones and it is likely that Uefa, with a French president, will want to make an example of at least one Premier League club.