The use of multiple restraints of trade in sport and the question of reasonableness

Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Journal, 2013, 7 (1), pp. 63 - 90
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Athletes, particularly those competing in team sports, are not uncommonly restricted by more than one substantive restraint of trade. The literature on restraints of trade in sport deals by and large with restraints as single impositions. This article addresses the effect of multiple restraints of trade imposed on athletes and how these, in combination, bear upon the question of reasonableness under the restraint of trade doctrine. The use of multiple forms of trade restraints is somewhat unique to the industry of sport to include over the years, player draft systems, salary caps, zoning restrictions, retain or transfer systems and wage ceilings. Restraints limiting athlete endorsement of sponsor products and services, a restraint of more recent origin yet to be tested before a court of law, will be considered against the background of the restraints listed above. Given the lucrative returns associated with athlete endorsement, such may prove to be a restraint too far.
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