Successful CAS award on UEFA licence case

CAS 2014/A/3629 Parma FC SpA v Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) & Torino FC SpA

Paolo Lombardi successfully defended the position of Lombardi Associates client, Torino FC, in a recent case relating to the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

In the season 2013/14, Parma FC finished 6th in Italian Serie A, and Torino FC finished 7th. Thus, Parma FC finished in a position which qualified them for the UEFA Europa League competition 2014/15, and Torino FC did not. However, the First Instance Licensing Committee of the FIGC refused to issue the UEFA license for 2014/15 season in favour of Parma FC as they had failed to adhere to all the relevant financial provisions, and they were therefore denied the possibility of taking part in the UEFA Europa League competition 2014/15, with the place being granted to Torino FC, as the next ranking competitor.

After the first Instance, Parma FC appealed before the Italian High Court of Sports Justice (Alta Corte di Giustizia Sportiva), which upheld the position of the FIGC.

Parma FC subsequently tried to bring the case at hand before CAS. On behalf of their client, Lombardi Associates argued that CAS did not have jurisdiction in this matter as the UEFA Italian Club Licensing Manual confers exclusive powers on the Alta Corte to settle disputes regarding the refusal or withdrawal of licences and that the relevant decisions are final and binding. CAS concurred with this argument and declared that they had no jurisdiction to hear such a dispute.

The Appeal was not entertained, Torino FC consequently retained its place in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League competition.