LawInSport has today published an article produced by Fountain Court’s Nick Daly and Samuel Rabinowitz concerning challenges recently faced by Leicester City Football Club, including the threat of a points deduction for alleged breaches of Premier League rules, and what this might mean for football regulation more broadly.

Below is the introduction to the piece and a link to the full article.

The 2023/24 football season is now over. In English football’s second tier, the Championship, a thrilling campaign ended with Leicester City clinching the title and achieving promotion back to the Premier League.

Most football fans will be familiar with Leicester City’s footballing story over the past decade. The unlikeliest of Premier League champions in 2016, the team subsequently graced the Champions League and won the FA Cup, before suffering a sudden collapse and surprise relegation to the Championship in 2023.

This unforeseen plummet – after becoming accustomed to dazzling heights – has contributed to the club facing significant financial challenges that are now threatening to spill over into sporting sanction. Leicester City is the latest club under threat of a points deduction for alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules (“PSR”). This follows the high-profile cases of, among others, Everton and Nottingham Forest, both of which had Premier League points deductions in the 2023/24 season, relating to PSR breaches.

Leicester City’s fate in relation to its alleged PSR breaches is yet to be determined. With the club now back in the Premier League for the forthcoming 2024/25 season, it could be hampered by a points deduction that would make its survival in that division more challenging. The authors await, too, the determination of striking allegations, outlined in this piece, that the club has made against the football authorities in charge of the leagues in which it partakes.

But in the interim, the last six months have seen significant legal sparring. In particular, this has concerned the proper approach to dealing with a recently promoted or relegated club that is alleged to have breached the PSR, in circumstances where a different regulatory framework applies, and a different regulator acts, in each of the Premier League and the Championship.

This article attempts to give a brief outline of the situation insofar as is presently ascertainable. Whilst the process is taking place in private, two decisions published this year shed some light on what has been going on and raise some important points relating to football’s regulation of these matters more generally.

The full article can be found here.