The majority of legal disputes involving football players, agents and clubs are currently played out in private under the Football Association’s Rule K Arbitration procedure. Under this regime, the existence and outcome of cases will often only be known to the parties themselves.

Whilst many operating in the football world understandably value confidentiality, the secrecy of the proceedings can potentially shield wrongdoing from those not directly involved. This can impact innocent parties (particularly younger players and less experienced agents) who unknowingly deal with individuals who have a hidden history of misconduct and litigation.

Recently, concerns have also been raised about misleading documents being submitted and used in Rule K Arbitrations. This has led to former FA Chairman, David Bernstein, calling for greater transparency and an independent body to oversee legal disputes in football.

It remains to be seen whether the calls for more transparent proceedings will lead to any material changes in the near future. Changes towards a more open system would represent a significant departure from the current regime.