Right to work for sportspeople?

By Andrew Macdonald

It is not uncommon in sport for sportspeople to find themselves being ‘benched’ for reasons other than their on-field performance or their off-field behaviour. We have seen many examples of players being ‘benched’ by their clubs for the sole purpose of preventing the players from benefiting from a bespoke clause in their employment contracts. Players sometimes have an option in their contracts that provides that should they play a certain amount of games and then they will have the option to extend the contract for a further year, often at the same or significantly better terms. Other cases often see players being ‘benched’ (or dropped) when they are about to trigger a significant financial bonus due to the number of appearances that they have made.

On some occasions, the club has taken such action due to the financial situation at the time. However, it may simply be due to a change of manager who does not wish to have the player at the club for the following season. The question is does a right to work for sportspeople exist? …

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