Hearn and Another v Rugby Football Union and Another: ChD 26 Aug 2003

The New Brighton Football Club (Rugby Union) sought to challenge the non-relegation in league of the Nuneaton Club. Nuneaton had employed a player who was subject to immigration control requirements in particular the obligation to inform the Home Office if he changed employments. He had moved to Nuneaton without giving notification. If the Union had subtracted the appropriate number of points, Nuneaton would have been relegated and New Brighton promoted.
Held: The relationship between clubs and the Union was contractual, and the court’s role was supervisory. Points could only be dedcuted within the disciplinary code. That code only allowed action on a complaint properly notified. New Brighton had failed to notify their complaint within the necessary time limit. A club’s entitlement to promotion became indefeasible at the end of a season. The need for finality in such arrangements overrode any jurisdiction of the court to the extent that such interference would be disproportionate.


Times 15-Sep-2003


England and Wales


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.186083