21 April 2021 #Commercial
The last few days have seen the founders of the European Super League, the UEFA and others clash over the creation of a new football league.
Adverse reactions from politicians, fan bases, players and pundits have, at the time of writing resulted in all six premier league clubs, originally announcing their participation, withdrawing from the European Super League in less than a week from their original announcements.
Notwithstanding, the new Super League Chairman has asserted that the league will continue and that all six clubs have signed legally binding contracts committing them to join.
What is the effect of a legally binding contract?
A legally binding contract is a promise to fulfil an obligation in return for consideration (usually payment). It doesn’t have to be in writing, a contract can be oral.
The ingredients of a legally binding contract are that there is an offer (as opposed to an invitation to treat) and an acceptance of that offer. Consideration is vital, and there has to be an intention to create legal relations. The parties must also have capacity to enter into the contract.
So, if a legally binding contract has been entered into what are the remedies for breach? In English law these are primarily limited to damages; damages for breach which can be awarded to compensate for the loss or liquidated damages – a sum fixed by the parties and specified in the contract. In certain circumstances, a claimant may ask for an order from the Court requiring the party in breach to fulfil the promise they made this is known as specific performance and there are certain rules around the granting of such an order.
What will happen to the future of the European Super League remains to be seen, but the withdrawal of the “big six” will be a blow to its establishment. We suspect that specific performance wouldn’t be an appropriate remedy for any breach, if in fact legally binding agreements have been concluded between each of the clubs and the European Super League.
For immediate advice and assistance on legally binding contracts from our commercial solicitors, please call on 0118 958 5321 or email our commercial team.