Online Panel | October 26, 2021, 6:00 p.m. (CET)

The topic of salary caps in European professional soccer has been on everyone’s lips for quite some time. Lately, the debate has been fueled once again by the considerable revenue losses caused by the pandemic and the resulting liquidity crisis for many soccer clubs.

In its study “Football Money League 2021“, the consulting firm Deloitte reported a combined drop in revenue of €1.1 billion for Europe’s 20 highest turnover soccer clubs in last year’s season. Industry giants such as FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin lost their most valuable players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, not least under the pressure of excessive salary commitments.

A salary cap for soccer professionals could therefore be a means for many clubs to put themselves on a more solid economic basis – and at the same time an opportunity for the continental association UEFA to ensure more balanced competition.

But is a salary cap legally possible, for example in terms of labor and antitrust law, and is it enforceable in practice? We discussed this on October 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. as part of a comparative online panel with renowned sports law experts from the USA and Germany.

6:00 p.m. Welcome, introduction of the speakers, introduction to the issues.
6:10 p.m. Salary caps in US professional sports
6:30 p.m. Salary caps in Europe?
6:50 p.m. Question and answer session and discussion


Prof. Dr. Philipp S. Fischinger holds a chair at the University of Mannheim for Civil Law, Employment Law, Sports Law and Commercial Law. He is a leading expert in Sports Law, in particular Sports Employment Law. He has published several books, articles and annotations on various issues, giving lectures on scientific conferences as well as on advanced lawyer’s training courses. Moreover, he advises various stakeholders in professional sports, mostly in cooperation with the Frankfurt and Heidelberg based lawfirm „MAINWERK“.

For further information (in German) see:

An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Michael Harper has been a Professor at Boston University School since 1978. He has co-authored several editions of major casebooks in American Labor Law and Employment Laws. He is the author of many law review articles and book chapters on a broad variety of labor and employment law topics. In addition to teaching classes in these subjects and civil procedure, Professor Harper offers a popular course examining law and sports. He is now a co-author of the leading teaching text for sports law courses. Professor Harper also served as a reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Employment Law Third. Early in his career, Professor Harper clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and practiced law in a public interest firm in Washington, D. C.

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Prof. Dr. Friedemann Kainer holds a chair at the University of Mannheim since 2012 (Chair of Civil Law, German and European Economic and Labor Law). He is director of the Institute of Business Law and Senior Member of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI). His research focuses on issues of the internal market (fundamental freedoms and antitrust law) and the Europeanisation of private and labor law. In these areas, he is a regular expert for the European and German Parliaments.

Prof. Stephen F. Ross is Professor of Law at Penn State University.  He writes about global sports law, influenced by work in competition law.   In scholarship and public advocacy, he has considered salary caps under American and Canadian competition law and other forms of player restraint under EU competition law.  A graduate of the University of California (Berkeley), with pre-academic experience with the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, he has also consulted with stakeholders among federations, leagues, clubs, and players associations with a principal focus on how labour market regulations in sport affect the sport’s overall appeal (his initial work demonstrated how Major League Baseball’s Reserve Clause actually harmed, rather than helped, competitive balance).  Because people should know panelist’s biases, he discloses that in addition to his native Los Angeles Dodgers, he supports Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid.

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André Philip Pantel is Managing Director of the Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung (German-American Lawyers Association, DAJV) since 2018. After an apprenticeship at Deutsche Bank and a law degree, he worked, among other things, as editorial director of a law magazine. Before joining DAJV, he held a senior position responsible for events at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.