14 February 2017 by

The FA’s regulations on working with intermediaries – approach with caution

In August 2016, The Football Association (“The FA”) regulatory commission handed down judgment in the first case heard before regarding The FA’s regulations on working with intermediaries (“intermediary regulations”).

The intermediary regulations came into force on 1 April 2015 and superseded the FA Football Agents Regulations.

The FA charged the intermediary, Mr Richard Des Voeux, following notification from Reading Football Club alleging that Mr Des Voeux had made an approach to an under-13 academy player (“the Player”) at Reading.

Following an FA investigation, including an interview with Mr Des Vouex, The FA charged Mr Des Vouex with misconduct in accordance with FA Rule 1(b). The charge specifically related to a breach of Regulation B8 of the intermediary regulations.

Regulation B8 of the intermediary regulations states:

An intermediary must not, either directly or indirectly, make any approach to, or enter into any agreement with, a Player in relation to any Intermediary Activity before the 1st day in January of the year of the Player’s sixteenth birthday”. 

It is important to note that “Intermediary Activity” includes acting in any way and at any time, either directly or indirectly with a view to entering into a Representation Contract with a Player or Club”. 

Due to the wide ambit of “Intermediary Activity” it is difficult to envisage situations where an Intermediary would be making contact with a Player with a view to entering into a representation contract.

At the hearing before the regulatory commission, The FA argued that Mr Des Vouex’s ultimate intention was to enter into a representation contract with the Player at a future date. In support of The FA’s case, it was argued that Mr Des Vouex made a call to a mobile phone, which was answered by the Player and sent a number of subsequent text messages.

Mr Des Voeux argued that he was not intending to contact a minor and regretted it immediately. The mobile number that he called was unfortunately not the Player’s mother’s and that in responding to a text message from the Player he made a genuine mistake.

The regulatory commission found in favour of The FA’s charge, concluding that “it was more likely than not, as contended by Ms Graham (Head of the FA Regulatory Advocates’ Department) that the purpose of the contact was to establish contact with the parents of the Player to sign a representation contract in the future – this was the ultimate objective”.

Due to the fact that the case was the first before the regulatory commission following the introduction of the intermediary regulations, there were no previous sanctions or guidelines. Taking into account aggravating and mitigating factors, the regulatory commission imposed a sanction consisting of a 112 day suspension from 2 August 2016, however, 84 of those days were suspended until 1 September 2017 and only to be invoked for a proven or admitted similar breach during that period.

This case will be of particular interest to intermediaries, players and clubs.

If you have any questions regarding the above article or wish to discuss any sports law issue, please contact us on 0207 288 4700 or email us at info@boltburdon.co.uk.

3 February 2017 by

Be aware of potentially expensive changes to the commercial property world this year…

If you own commercial property or you are a tenant, 2017 could be a busy and possibly expensive year. You […]

10 February 2017 by Amie Mackay

New build home buyers – checklist

It has been reported that 2016 saw the highest number of first time buyers since the financial crisis in 2008. […]

Signup To Our Weekly e-News

"*" indicates required fields

We’ll never share your details with any third party in line with our privacy policy.