The widely reported issues relating to alleged misuse of supplements by the Essendon Football Club raise several important legal issues, particularly around employment law and sponsors rights.
Essendon has a number of sponsors. Without all the information available, including whether or not banned substances were administered under the auspices of the club, it is impossible to be definitive about the potential consequences should it be found to have facilitated the misuse of substances.
Club sponsors are likely to have a look at their contract if there appears to have been any wrongdoing by the club. Sponsor contracts are likely to contain clauses which:
The first two clauses speak for themselves. If any bonus payments have been paid (eg based on the club’s ladder position or crowd attendances) then the sponsor may be able to claim a refund on the basis that they were paid on the basis of fraud.