Results of 2015 through the eyes of Legal Sport

Seeing 2015, Legal Sport Company sums up the outgoing year. This year turned out to be a very busy and successful enough for us. We have significantly expanded our customer base and have helped many people to restore their violated rights. We have taken part in many cases heard in various instances – RFU, FIFA, CAS, general jurisdiction courts and state arbitrazh courts. We succeeded in most of our cases, though there were some local failures. However, without a defeat there are no big wins, so we are optimistic while entering the New Year.

Our events

On 24 April we have held a very significant event – a Seminar for Professional Sports Lawyers. The guests of our seminar were the Head of Disciplinary and Integrity at UEFA Emilio Garsia, CAS Arbitrators Manfred Nan and Frans de Weger. The seminar was attended by the officials of federations and leagues, heads of different clubs, representatives of trade unions, leading sports lawyers. The seminar brought together in one place professionals from many countries – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Spain, the Netherlands and others.

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From 13 to 14 November, our delegation took part in one of the greatest events for international sports lawyers – the International Congress, organized by the Spanish Football Federation. Acquired new knowledge, we are ready to put them into practice and help our clients in solving their problems even better.

Legal services

Throughout the year, we carried out legal support of our clients, preparing contracts, other legal documents for them and representing their interests at various instances. Among our clients there are leading Russian and foreign players, coaches, clubs, sports agencies.

We can do very good contracts, what (thanks to the former RFU president) is commonly known. However, we are not less effectively helping our clients in parting with their employers: for example, in July we participated in the negotiations on the termination of the contract between the RFU and our client – the coach of Russian national football team Fabio Capello. As a result, the parties had signed an agreement on termination of the contract, and later the RFU has settled on its obligations to the Italian coach.

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We are also proud of legal consulting a number of organizations engaged in the preparation of Russia to the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Main court victories

At the very beginning of the year we received the CAS award on the dispute between Vladimir Mukhanov and FC Aktobe of Kazakhstan. CAS upheld our complaint against the decision of the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA, and coach Mukhanov was awarded compensation in the amount of the residual value of the contract excluding the salary in the new club, to change the decision of FIFA, which has unreasonably reduced the amount of compensation to the coach.

Then, at the end of January, we won the case Slavoljub Muslin vs. FC Amkar, which had a large debt to the coach, and, in addition, decided to resign the coach for poor results. The Chamber awarded compensation to Muslin, which was subsequently confirmed by the second instance – Players’ Status Committee. At the moment, the case is heard in CAS, because the coach did not agree that the Chamber reduced the amount of compensation for termination of contract. In the New Year we will continue to defend the interests of our client to the CAS, and hope to win the case.

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In March, CAS ruled on the dispute between FC and FC Lokomotiv Nick (“Glushakov case”). Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed the obligation of Lokomotiv to pay our client – a small football club Nika – 15% of the transfer fee received for the transfer of Denis Glushakov from Lokomotiv to Spartak.

In April 2015, we received the award on the case PFC Tula Arsenal vs. football player Eric Salkich. Lausanne court found that our client – PFC Arsenal had a just cause to terminate the contract with the player, who mistakenly considered his transfer to the Club’s second team as a breach of contract on the part of the club and prematurely left the team. On the contrary, the football player was recognized as a violator of the contract.

In June, CAS ruled an award on the case of Dmitri Torbinski. CAS acknowledged that FC Rubin wrongfully dismissed our client, and therefore the club was found guilty of termination of the contract.

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Also in June, the FIFA DRC delivered the award on the Eremenko case. FIFA determined that the player terminated the contract with Rubin after the expiration of the protected period, and therefore Roman Eremenko avoided the use of sporting sanctions. However, the FIFA Chamber has awarded compensation in the amount of 5.6 million Euro in favor of Rubin.

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In September, we won the case Artem Dzyuba vs. FC Spartak Moscow. Only in the second instance – the Players Status Committee – we were able to prove that the club violated the constitutional right to freedom of speech and inappropriately “fined” the player for a comment to the official website of FC Zenit, that the player gave after signing a contract with the club from St. Petersburg, as his contract with Spartak would have soon expired. After that, Spartak tried to challenge the decision to the supervisory instance, but in the end the parties reconciled and entered into a settlement agreement.

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In October, we won the case of a former Rubin’s exercise scientist Eugene Bondarenko, who was unilaterally sacked from the Kazan club that was arguing its actions with lack of a coaching license. We were able to prove that for an exercise scientist no license is required and that the dismissal was unlawful. As a result, Bondarenko will receive monetary compensation for wrongful dismissal.

The case of Igor Denisov vs. FC Dynamo lasted from spring till December. Football player, who was “fined” twice for interfering with the actions of the Head coach and for disrespect to the Head coach, has challenged the club’s decision to the RFU Dispute Resolution Chamber. As a result, the Chamber declared illegal the “penalty” for disrespect to the Head coach, but rejected the other part of the claim. The player appealed this decision to the second instance – RFU Players’ Status Committee, assuming that the second “fine” was also illegal. During the proceedings before the Committee the parties entered into a settlement agreement, and each party was satisfied with the outcome of the case.

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In December, we won the FIFA case FC Rostov vs. football player Xulu. South African player sought from our clients – FC Rostov – the penalty in amount of several thousand dollars for each day of delay specified in the agreement concluded between the parties. However, the Chamber of FIFA reduced the amount of the penalty more than in 1000 times, awarding the player 5% per annum on the arrears in proportion to the period of delay.

Also in December, we won the case of our client MFC Dina vs. player Marko Peric. Despite the fact that the player and the club at the end of the term of the labor contract signed an agreement on the absence of financial claims, the player intended to recover from the football club the fees for a 5-year period. The dispute between the parties lasted three years. The point in this dispute was put by the Players’ Status Committee, which rejected the football player’s claim.

By the end of the year the saga of the former players of FC Tyumen came to its end. Through our efforts, the players who brought Tyumen to the FNL in the season 2013/2014 and who were deceived (a bonus was not paid), will finally get their deserved money.

And just before Christmas, we won the case of the player Alexander Tkachev vs. Kuban. Unfortunately, due to financial problems the club from Krasnodar regularly violated its obligations to the player, and as a result the player terminated the contract and left the club, receiving the status of a free agent.

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We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!