Sports Ticker 17 - Man City, British Gymnastics and Varnish

Published on 17 July 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

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In this edition, we consider Man City's recent success at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the “CAS”) and the reaction from the sports industry. We also look at a quarantine exemption for sports teams and film crew following an announcement by the Culture Secretary, and focus on the independent review launched by British Gymnastics into allegations of abuse in the sport.

As always, if there are any areas where you'd like more information (or if you have any questions or feedback), please let us know or get in touch with your usual RPC contact.

Man City win away at the CAS 

The CAS has overturned a two-year ban on City participating in the Champions League, and specifically found that City had not breached FFP regulations by allegedly disguising equity funding as sponsorship contributions.

Silverstone races, the Champions League and the British Masters can go ahead? Don't burst our bubble

On 5 July 2020, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced a quarantine exemption for international sports teams and film crews in England. Initially, the exemption will apply to international teams competing in F1, snooker, golf and international football fixtures.

End of the Road for Jess Varnish?

Jess Varnish has been unsuccessful in her Employment Tribunal appeal against British Cycling.  The matter has been ongoing for several years, with Varnish claiming that she should be considered an employee of either British Cycling or UK Sport. 

British Gymnastics to launch independent review into allegations of abuse in the sport

British Gymnastics has announced the launch of an independent review into allegations of abuse in the sport. Jane Mulcahy QC, who has worked at the CAS, and sits on the England and Wales Cricket Board Appeals Panel in child protection cases, will be conducting the review.

2022 Commonwealth Games legislation clears final hurdle 

A Bill making provision for the XXII Commonwealth Games - which is to be held in Birmingham between 27 July 2022 and 7 August 2022 - has now received Royal Assent. 


 Extra time...

… and finally, around 3 years after the Code for Sports Governance was published for Sport England and UK Sport-funded organisations, an immediate review (commissioned by Sport England and UK Sport together) is being undertaken to support greater equality, diversity and inclusion at boardroom level. UK Sport's COO Simon Morton commented: "We are particularly mindful of the need to ensure that boards are reflective of society across the UK.”  The hope is that this review will help Sports NGBs to transform racial and ethnic representation in particular. Experts have commented that the requirements of the Code 3 years ago (see here for more information) prompted positive changes for gender representation at board level, albeit clear that in all areas there is still significant work to be done.

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