Hammonds, Brabners sort out Fifa rule

Fifa’s rulebook has been put to the test by the sports groups at Brabners Chaffe Street and Hammonds. Hammonds advised Scottish football club Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) on its landmark dispute with Wigan Athletic over former player Andy Webster’s contract, with Brabners advising Wigan. Webster left Hearts to play for Wigan last season, taking advantage of a Fifa rule known as Article 17, which allows players to break their contracts after three years. Fifa’s dispute resolution chamber accepted that Webster was free to leave the club, but ordered him to pay Hearts £625,000 as compensation. The ruling will ensure that players think twice before relying on Article 17 to move clubs.