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Sports law | FA Regulatory CommissionTuesday 10 September 2019

The FA v Millwall FC: due diligence in practice

David Phillips QC has chaired a FA Regulatory Commission which heard charges against Millwall FC alleging that the club had failed to ensure that its spectators had conducted themselves properly.  The specific complaint was of racist chanting at the Everton FC match that took place on 26 January 2019.  Millwall admitted the charge (which was an offence of strict liability) but sought to mitigate the penalty by arguing that the elements of the due diligence defence provide by FA Rule E20 applied.  The Written Reasons contain an analysis of the correct approach to the application of the due diligence defence, following on from the decision of the Regulatory Commission in the West Ham case, which David also chaired.  The decision itself is unusual because the Commission was not unanimous.  The decision that Millwall was unable to establish the elements of the due diligence defence was made 2-1.  Millwall was fined £10,000 and ordered to comply with the terms of an Action Plan devised by the Regulatory Commission.

The Written Reasons can be read here.

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