Harrison Drury sports law expert appointed to FA panel

A Lancashire-based solicitor has been appointed to The Football Association’s National Serious Case Panel for the 2021-22 football season.

As part of the panel, Matthew Astley, head of the sports law team at Harrison Drury Solicitors, will adjudicate on all types of serious disciplinary cases within grassroots football.

The role involves ensuring that FA hearing procedures are correctly and fairly administered, and that disciplinary regulations are applied correctly.

Matt, who is also an associate solicitor within the firm’s dispute resolution team, said: “This role is all about ensuring the FA’s values and behaviour standards are, through independent adjudication, applied correctly and fairly across grassroots football.

“The panel plays a vital role in setting the standards for respectful behaviour across the game and ensuring football remains a game for everyone.

“I’m proud to be part of the National Serious Case Panel and to have been nominated as a Chair, and I look forward to working alongside other individuals from across the UK who are part of the panel.” 

As a panel member chair, Matt will assist County Football Associations across the country by independently adjudicating in serious disciplinary matters including those involving assaults on match officials and ‘aggravated’ cases involving discrimination.

Gaining a place on the panel involves an application process. Among the requirements, members must demonstrate a strong understanding of the disciplinary process in football and have experience of dealing with young people within a disciplinary setting.

Harrison Drury’s sports law team deals with a wide range of matters including intellectual property and image rights; sports regulatory, disciplinary, safeguarding and anti-doping; sports contracts; employment matters; property in sport; and sports arbitration and litigation.