“Good Governance for a Good Game” - the principles of good governance in football management

Soccerex China 2018

The Studio | 18 April 2018 | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

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In order to provide the foundation for an industry to grow, professional organisation is needed at all levels, based on principles of good governance such as integrity, transparency and accountability. Football is no different and although we have seen issues in recent times, particularly in territories where the professionalism of the industry is in its infancy, we are increasingly seeing a willingness to ensure that the principles of good governance are adhered to. But what does the practical application and policing of these principles across football’s different stakeholder groups look like? What regulations need to be put in place and what to governing bodies need to do to enforce them? We will bring together a group of legal and business experts to assess the principles of good governance in football and how they should be applied by the different businesses, governing bodies and rights holders involved.

Suggested for: Clubs & Rightsholders


Nick De Marco
Blackstone Chambers

Nick De Marco of Blackstone Chambers is ranked as a leading Sports law barrister and foremost practitioner in football disputes. He acts for football clubs, federations, players, and agents in commercial and regulatory disputes before FIFA, CAS and various domestic forums. He has appeared in most of the recent high-profile UK football cases and has a significant international sports practice. In cricket, boxing and sailing he acts for the regulator, and, in other sports, sits as an arbitrator and is on the KLRCA panel. He writes and lectures on sports law, is an author of ‘Challenging Sports Governing Bodies’, and is the General Editor and Author of the forthcoming title ‘Football and The Law’ – the first comprehensive review of football law to be produced. He has just been appointed to be a QC (2018).

Daniel Cravo
Cravo, Pastl & Balbuena
Senior Partner

Daniel specialises in Sports Law and provides his legal services to football clubs, agents, federations and players, usually involving the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and footballs governing bodies. Daniel is active in the Higher Court of Sports Justice in football related cases as well as being the Vice President of the Special Committee on Legislation and Sports Law at the Brazilian Bar Association.

James Kitching
Kitching Sports
Managing Director

In September 2017, James Kitching became the new Managing Director of Kitching Sports. Prior to that he worked for the Asian Football Confederation back in 2012, where he has worked in the AFC in-house legal team and boasted the role of Head of Sports Legal Services, Disciplinary and Governance, where he leaded a department responsible for all sports regulatory matters.

Kitching is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of South Australia. Prior to working for the AFC, Kitching worked in the public and private sector specialising in corporate criminal and administration law. Back in 2007, Kitching was General Secretary for Old Ignatians Soccer Club in South Australia, with the club growing to the second largest amateur football club in South Australia during his tenture.

Mark Sutcliffe
Hong Kong FA
Chief Executive Officer

Mark has a first degree (Staffordshire University) and post-graduate diploma (Loughborough University), both in sports and leisure management. For ten years he worked in the UK sports and leisure industry. In the 1990s Mark moved into the commercial sector and after completing a Management Buy-out, he owned and led Strategic Leisure Limited. As well as managing and growing the Company, he personally completed over 500 sports consultancy assignments around the world including high profile sports projects in the UK, the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia.

In 2009 Mark was appointed by the Hong Kong SAR Government to prepare the Football Development Strategy ‘Dare to Dream’ and in 2011 was the principal author of the Project Phoenix report, the plan designed to breathe new life into football in Hong Kong. In September 2012 he moved to Hong Kong to become the full time CEO of the Hong Kong Football Association and to take responsibility for the implementation of the new HKFA strategy. Between 2012 and 2018, Mark has secured over HK$600m additional investment into the HKFA. This money is being used to improve facilities, increase participation and enhance Governance and Management.