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Landmark sports law cases such as Bosman, Buckley v Tutty and Federal Baseball Club have shaped the organisation of professional sport. This article analyses US, European and Australian cases applying restraint of trade laws. In particular, it examines cases which have dealt with the lawfulness of restraint mechanisms such as the transfer system, player draft and salary cap. The competing interests of the athlete and the club/league are not always easily reconciled. This article concludes that restraint of trade laws in the US favour the club/league, whereas in Europe, they tend towards the interests of the player. Australia’s application of restraint of trade laws to sport is more even-handed than in the US and Europe: it better balances the interests of the players and club/league.
This document has been peer reviewed.