“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).

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.

Daniel Lorenz
Lorenz Consulting

Daniel is a lawyer and a registered Intermediary. Graduate in law at the Universidade de Coimbra in January 1999, he worked at “Graça Moura & Associados” law firm, until joining FC Porto, SAD’s Legal Department in 2000. As of 2004 until May 2015 he was the Head of the Legal Department of FC Porto, SAD, the Clubs Secretary and sports law consultant to the law firm “Graça Moura & Associados”. In 2015 he was appointed the Head of the Internationalization Department at FC Porto. He was a member of the European Clubs Association “Legal Advisory Panel” for many years, and participated actively in various of its working groups. He also took part in FIFA´s working group on the matter of the Football Players Economic Rights (aka Third Party Ownership). He has been an arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2015. In the same year he was appointed as a member of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee. In May 2016 he to set up his own consultancy business firm “Lorenz Consulting”, focusing primarily on the football market. The firm represents a small group of international players, among which most notably the Brazilian player “Hulk”, currently playing for Shanghai SIPG.

Daniel Cravo (Moderator)
Cravo, Pastl and Balbuena Associated Attorneys
Senior Partner

Daniel Cravo Souza is a Brazilian lawyer, Senior Partner at Cravo, Pastl and Balbuena Associated Attorneys, law firm specialized in Sports Law. Daniel provides legal services to SC Internacional, Fluminense FC and Chapecoense (Brazil), Peñarol and Nacional (Uruguay), among other clubs, players, associations, federations, confederations, investment funds and companies involved in sports, Brazilians and foreigners, including Soccerex. He has worked in several transfers of players (such as Marcelo to Real Madrid, Alexandre Pato to Milan, Oscar to Chelsea, Alisson and Gerson to Roma, Douglas Costa and Taison to Shakhtar Donetsk) and has also large experience in proceedings before the Brazilian Sports Courts (TJD) and Higher Sports Courts (STJD), as well as in international cases before CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation), UEFA, AFC, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS-CAS), involving a variety of subjects, as, for instance, competition, disciplinary (such as the “Suárez case – the biting” in the 2014 FIFA World Cup), contractual, player’s transfers, governance, ethics and doping-related matters in many different modalities.

He is currently the vice president of the Special Committee on Sports Law of the Federal Council of OAB (Brazilian Bar Association), member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Football Lawyers (AIAF) and member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Disciplinary Tribunal. Besides that, Daniel speaks at various conferences and courses related to law and management in sports in several countries