Andrew L. Lee


This Comment argues that the IGC should reject proposals to exempt sports associations from Community law, because freedom of movement for workers is a strictly protected right of fundamental importance to the European Union and because the public's interest in sport and the sporting associations' interest in maintaining financial and competitive balance between clubs are better served by alternatives to the transfer system that do not obstruct freedom of movement. Part I discusses the importance of the common market in the European Union and outlines Community law designed to maintain the common market. Part I also discusses application of those measures in the context of sport, including a description of organized professional football and the rules regarding freedom of movement for players. Part II presents the background of the dispute in Bosman, followed by an analysis of the ECJ's ruling declaring the transfer system and the rules on foreign players incompatible with Community law. Part III argues that amending the Treaty on European Union (“TEU”) to exempt sports associations from Community law on freedom of movement for workers would be inappropriate in light of the importance of freedom of movement in the European Union and the transfer system's failure to promote any legitimate goals. Part III advocates that viable alternatives exist to replace the transfer system without obstructing freedom of movement. This Comment concludes that an amendment to the TEU would create a dangerous precedent in favor of unjustified obstructions to freedom of movement for workers in an entire segment of the EU internal market, thereby threatening the existence of the common market itself.