Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Eastham v Newcastle United Football Club

304 words (1 pages) Case Summary

30th Dec 2020 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Eastham v Newcastle United Football Club Ltd [1964] Ch 413

Retention provisions in professional football contract acted in restraint of trade


The governing body of football in England (FA) provides that a player must register with the association of his club and while so registered can only play for that club. At the end of a season, players may be retained by a club. If retained, a player is banned from playing for any other club but is not employed by the club and no contract existed until he re-signed with it.


The plaintiff, a professional football player, was retained by the defendant club who refused to transfer him to another club. The plaintiff sought declaration that his agreement with the club and the rules of the FA relating to retention were not binding as being in unreasonable restraint of trade and/or ultra vires. After the writ was issued, the plaintiff agreed to his transfer and this was duly carried out.


The Court held that the retention provisions operated in restraint of trade. The retention provision were restrictions coming into operation after the employment was terminated and not as the exercise of an option causing the employment to continue. The retention notice does not have the effect of re-employing the player as he must re-sign a contract. Before re-signing, he can receive no wages.  The retention provisions, together with the transfer provisions, were more than what was reasonable for the defendants to protect their interests. Therefore, the retention provisions substantially interfered with the plaintiff’s right to seek employment and operated in unreasonable restraint of trade and were ultra vires.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles