The Sports law team at North West firm Brabners Chaffe Street has had a busy January transfer window advising on a number of high profile football transfers including several transatlantic transfer deals from the United States to England.
The team acted on a number of loans from Major League Soccer (‘MLS’) during the MLS close season, including Thierry Henry’s long awaited return to Arsenal from New York Red Bulls, the moves of LA Galaxy pair Robbie Keane to Aston Villa and Landon Donovan to Everton and George John’s loan move from FC Dallas to West Ham United. Brabners Chaffe Street also advised Bolton Wanderers in its permanent signing of the US defender Tim Ream from New York Red Bulls, which included obtaining a work permit on an appeal before The FA. The team also advised Queens Park Rangers on work permit and visa issues relating to its loan of Nigerian defender, Taye Taiwo, from AC Milan.
January also saw a number of clubs moving players on and the team advised long standing client Manchester United on its sales of Darron Gibson to Everton, Danny Drinkwater to Leicester City, Mame Biram Diouf to Hannover 96 in Germany, Ravel Morrison to West Ham United and on the loans of Joshua King and Federico Macheda to Hull City and Queens Park Rangers respectively. The team also advised United on its signing of Swiss teenager Frederic Veseli across Manchester from neighbours City.
Other highlights included advising on Gary Cahill’s transfer from Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea and the last minute deadline day moves of Nikica Jelavic’s to Everton from Glasgow Rangers and Steven Pienaar’s loan to Everton from Tottenham. The team also advised Everton on its disposals of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to Spartak Moscow and Louis Saha to Tottenham, Tottenham on its sale of Roman Pavlyuchenko to Russian club Locomotive Moscow and Blackpool on its loan of Frenchman Elliot Grandin to OGC Nice.
Matthew Bennett, a Partner in the firm’s Sports department, commented: “The global nature of football means we are involved in transfer deals between clubs from all around the world and we have an ever increasing number of overseas clients who wish to retain us due to our experience in advising on international football transfers. As well as the normal domestic transfers, there has also been a growing trend in recent seasons of players coming to England on short term loans during the January window from clubs in different territories who are not playing at this time of year including from the MLS in the US. This makes January a busy time for the firm.”
The January transfer window was preceded by a number of successes for the Brabners Chaffe Street’s Sports Law team including representing Celtic at UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in its well publicised legal dispute with the Swiss club, FC Sion, to secure its re-admission and continued participation in the UEFA Europa League following Sion’s fielding of a number of ineligible players in the Europa League fixture between the clubs. The team also represented Stoke City before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in successfully overturning FIFA’s decision to deny Stoke the right to recover Training Compensation from Italian club, Brescia, for its former player Adam Vass. This closely followed the team’s successful representation of Manchester City before English football’s Professional Football Compensation Committee in the claim brought by Norwich City for compensation for the youth player, Angus Gunn, who had joined the Manchester club from Norwich in July 2011.
The team also recently advised Leicester City on its appointment of Nigel Pearson as First Team Manager who moved back to the club from Hull City in mid-November 2011.