The Football Association (The FA) has appointed leading North East commercial law firm Muckle LLP to provide legal advice to its Charter Standard Clubs and Leagues. Muckle won this contract against competitor law firms from across the UK.
The contract with The FA which starts on 1st September 2011 will see Muckle provide a helpline service for the 5,246 Clubs and 146 Leagues which have achieved The FA Charter Standard of excellence. The FA Charter Standard Scheme is a best practice accreditation setting standards for coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League.
John Devine, partner at Muckle LLP, said: “We are so pleased to be working with everyone associated with a brand as fantastic as The FA and will ensure that the Clubs and Leagues receive the highest standards of service and advice through this new helpline. The sports team at Muckle LLP understands that clubs and leagues face a varied range of legal issues. With our expertise, the new helpline service means we will be there to provide effective, hassle-free legal advice and support, when clubs need it.”
Muckle will provide advice on all legal matters, including organisational structures, landlord and tenant issues, building, grounds and planning matters, employment law, health and safety, contract law, data protection, Freedom of Information issues, as well as dispute resolution.
The contract will extend Muckle LLP’s existing reputation as sports law advisers, particularly in the football arena. Muckle already advises The Premier League as well as representing high profile clubs, players and managers. Last year Muckle advised Champions League winning manager Rafa Benitez when leaving Liverpool FC after five years in charge at Anfield.
The FA chose Muckle LLP’s sports team because of their experience and understanding of the football sector, from the professional game to grassroots, as well as their reputation for providing practical advice.
Douglas Marshall, professional support lawyer at The FA, said: “We were looking for a legal team who could handle all aspects of law, because of the breadth of issues that FA Charter Standard Clubs and Leagues have to deal with. We were very impressed by the Muckle sports team’s experience, desire to help and can do attitude. The legal issues they will face from the clubs and leagues will be varied and sometimes complex, but we believe they have the expertise to provide pragmatic and commercial legal advice, so that clubs and leagues can get on with what they do best – playing and enjoying football.”
Above picture: (from left to right) Mick Baikie, National Clubs’ Services Manager, Tony McPhillips from Muckle LLP, Jonathan Hall, Director of Football Services, Sir Trevor Brooking, Director of Football Development, Douglas Marshall, Professional Support Lawyer and John Devine, Head of Sport from Muckle LLP.