Manchester City Football Club
Manchester City Football Club is a longstanding key client of the firm and we have a permanent secondment at the club.
We assisted the club in relation to the development of its world leading youth academy, which is one of the few stadium adjacent academies which incorporates everything from cutting edge training and coaching facilities through to state of the art office space and accommodation.
We also acted for the club's parent company, City Football Group (CFG) on its strategic 50:50 joint venture with Goals Soccer Centres Plc, the AIM-listed operator of outdoor soccer centres, with 48 sites, including two in California. The establishment of the joint venture involved the acquisition of all of Goals' North American operations (including both existing and pipeline sites) by the joint venture company and CFG providing multi-million dollar funding to assist the joint venture company with a programme of new site openings in the US and Canada.
Supporting the Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA)
In 2015, we became the SRA’s main legal advisor to their membership of over 320 sports organisations.
We fully appreciated their strategic objective of creating commercial partnerships to offer their members access to a range of products and services. These partnerships will inevitably increase the value of the SRA’s offering to its membership as a whole.
We were keen to help them set up their commercial arrangements, including undertaking data protection training, and we also recognised the value of providing exclusive legal services offering for their members. We knew that the legal spend for setting up these arrangements was potentially going to be significant.
Our solution for the SRA was to offer a contra-agreement, whereby we provide a specific amount of legal advice, in return for promotion as an exclusive legal services provider to their membership.
Supporters Direct is a unique set-up providing help to supporters’ trusts and supporter-run football clubs. It is the first organisation of its kind and has experienced significant growth over the past five years.
To assist the organisation and its member clubs/ trusts, we developed an enhanced legal helpline offering a direct telephone number/ email address to our specialist sports team.
Further, the topic of social media and the law around defamation was highly relevant to Supporters Direct, as supporters often use social media to express their views. We presented to Supporters Direct at their annual conference, providing advice on how to avoid and deal with defamatory statements and how to provide ongoing support to members.