Warcester WarthogsRugby Football Club is situated on the outskirts of Warcester in the Midlands of England, (date of incorporation, 1989). WWRFC
Ltd has a number of major shareholders, two of whom are Dean Parsons (chairman) and Tom Ryan (managing director). Since 2013, the club has bought
well and developed a talented squad benefitting from stable ownership and management.It is currently in the rugby championship but due to continued
success, it is now anticipated that the club will be promoted into the premier league at the start of the new rugby season.
As expected, WWRFC was promoted from the championship at the end of the 2014/15 season. Tom Ryan convened an urgent meeting of the board of
directors to consider the wide ranging implications of the promotion. The directors agreed that extra parking facilities would have to be provided
and they anticipated that there would be increased demand for merchandise sold in the club shop.
A few days later, the commercial director notices a post on a supplier`s website, RugbyCo Ltd, indicating that 250 mini rugby balls, in the club´s
colours, are for sale at a price £3.00 per ball. He emails RugbyCo at 10 am on 1 June asking for 250 balls at £2.00. RugbyCo send a reply at 10.10am
saying that they will sell 250 at £2.50p. The commercial director drafts an email at 11.30am confirming the order for 250 balls at £2.50p. When he
presses ‘send’ he is not connected to the internet. As a result his email is stored in his outbox and sent the following morning, 2 June at 10.30
am. In the meantime, a local sports shop wants the whole consignment and sends a van to the premises of RugbyCo to pay and collect the scarves in
the afternoon on 1st June. Immediately, RugbyCo email WWRFC´s commercial director withdrawing their offer. He reads the email at 10.30am when he
logs back onto the internet.
Following the board meeting, WWRFC engages a local groundworks and construction company, Pershore Ltd., to extend the existing car park. The
chairman stresses that it is essential that the car park will be ready by 16th August. A contract is drawn up and signed by the two parties on 2nd
June 2014; work commences seven days later.
The club performs well in all competitions and by December they have won all their matches to date. The chairman organizes a tour of the grounds for
a group of local school pupils who are accompanied by their teacher, Miss Buffont. Whilst the children are having refreshments at the end of the
tour, the teacher went in search of her handbag which she had lost in the changing rooms. As she rushes back, she collides with the scummaging
machine abandoned in the entrance tunnel to the pitch by the grounds-man, Jamie George and head coach Richard Hill. Miss Buffont had her leg crushed
by the heavy machine.
Club revenue increased significantly as a result of a number of factors. The club shop experiences a 50% increase in the sale of rugby merchandise;
new products have been added to the existing range. The directors decide to sell online in order to cope with demand and enhance customer
satisfaction. They have ordered some children’s clothing (fleeces and waterproofs) with the club logo.
WWRFC signs a highly lucrative sponsorship deal with a local world famous boiler manufacturer Warcester Bash. In addition, through accurate fan base
segmentation and the development of a dynamic ticket pricing strategy, the club manages to achieve close to 100% attendance, despite significantly
raising ticket prices.The club buys a new player, Ryan Lamb, in January 2016 and he soon shows his extraordinary individual skilland plays his part
in continuing WWRFC´s astounding success. The chairman said that he had “explosive pace, can kick with both feet, he was brave, strong in the tackle
and a great leader.”
The playing surface has been well prepared and maintained during the season by the three grounds-men. However, as the summer approaches, one member
of the team leaves and the remaining grounds-men find themselves working 60 hours a week to ensure the pitch meets the required standard. This
causes tension and conflict within the club.
The club goes from success to success and promotion to the premier league beckons. After celebrating the latest victory, the club´s director of
rugby drove home but was caught driving at 90mph while almost twice the legal drink-drive limit on the M5.
Assignment part 1 (1300 words)
1. WWRFC is a limited company. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of its legal status.
2. a)Identify and explain the requirements of a valid contract.
b) WWRFC is claiming that the rules on offer and acceptance mean that an enforceable contract was formed with the club prior to the scarves being
sold to the sports shop. Advise WWRFC.
3. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated in the weeks following the signing of the contract for the car park redevelopment. The scheduled
construction fell behind with the result that the new car park was not ready for the start of the 2015 rugby season on Saturday 16th August.
Completion was also adversely affected when one of Pershore´s diggers hit a main sewer and construction had to be halted for two days whilst the
damage amounting to £10,000 was repaired. Hundreds of new fans arriving for the first match of the season had to be turned away.
The contract between LUFC and Pershore Ltd. included the following terms:
‘Pershore Ltd. shall use reasonable endeavours to meet the performance dates set out in the contract but any such dates shall be estimates only, and
time shall not be of the essence in this agreement.’
‘Pershore Ltd shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused to the premises as a result of negligence and if, notwithstanding the foregoing, any
liability for damage to the property should arise, that liability shall be limited to a total of £1,000.’
WWRFC wish to claim for the loss of revenue arising from lost ticket sales on the day of the first match and for the cost of repairing the damaged
sewer. Advise WWRFC.
4. Miss Buffont wishes to make a claim in respect of her injury. It is likely her leg will be permanently damaged and that she will be unable
to play badminton again.Advise her about any claim that she might have against the grounds man, the coach and/or WWRFC.
Assignment part 2 (1700 words)
1. a) How does the law distinguish between persons working under a contract of service and independent contractors. What is the legal
significance of this distinction?
Rebecca is a sales assistant in the club shop. She has worked there for three years. Her terms and conditions of employment state that she is self-
employed and not entitled to sick pay or holiday pay. She is responsible for paying her own Income Tax and National Insurance. She cannot work for
any other organisation whilst being employed by WWRFC. Her working hours are 25 hours per week. She can send a suitably qualified substitute to
replace her if she cannot work for any reason. She is under the direct control of Tuka. Rebecca has been told that her employment has been
terminated because of the success of the online sales.
b) Critically evaluate the role of implied terms imposed on both employer and employee.
2. a) At the end of July, the new player requests paternity leave following the birth of his first child. Advise him of his rights under
b) After two months, the groundsman, Jamie George, is refusing to work the extra hours. Advise him of his legal rights.
3. The Board of Directors decide to dismiss the director of rugby because of his recent conviction. Advise the club in relation to any
potential claim for unfair dismissal by the director of rugby
4. Evaluate the impact of the Equality Act on the WWRFC as an employer in relation to equality of opportunity, perceived racism and homophobia
in rugby. (20 marks)
5. a) The children´s clothing quickly sold out and a number of customers
have returned the waterproofs to the shop after several had dissolved when worn in the rain.
The product details on the fleece labels are as follows:
‘Material content 100% natural recycled materials, stain resistant and guaranteed not to shrink.
Made in the UK’
Customers who purchased the fleeces have returned them after they shrunk in the wash whereupon it was discovered that the fleeces were made of
synthetic materials and had been imported from a supplier in Asia.
(i) Discuss the rights of the consumer in the two situations above.
(ii) Outline the legal position of the club in relation to the customer and whether there is any criminal liability. In your answer include
reference to any appropriate legislation and case law.
b) The last home game was played during very wet weather and many supporters complained of the leaking roof in the Wainwright Stand. On the
following Monday the facilities manager instructed a young trainee groundsmanto repair that part of the roof which was leaking. Unfortunately, the
roof gave way under his weight and he fell to his death.
The young trainee had not been provided with appropriate equipment. He was working alone, not wearing a helmet and safety harness and he had not
received the relevant health and safety training or assessment. Health and safety inspectors, undertaking a routine inspection of the club grounds,
had advised the club to undertake the necessary repairs before the start of the new season. The repairs had not been undertaken.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is considering a prosecution for corporate manslaughter.
Examine the rugby club’s legal position in relation to HSE pending prosecution for corporate manslaughter. (Use current legislation and case law to
support your summary.)
Indicative Reading List:
Maclntyre, E. (2014) Business Law, 7thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Riches, S., & Allen, V. ( 2011) Keenan and Riches’ Business Law.11thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Poole, J. (2012) Textbook on Contract Law. 12thed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Elliott, C., & Quinn, F. (2011) Contract Law. 8thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Elliott, C., & Quinn, F. (2011) Tort Law. 8thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Cooke, J. (2011) Law of Tort. 10thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Willey, B. (2012) Employment Law in Context, An introduction for HR professionals. 4thed. Harlow: Pearson.
Sargeant, M., & Lewis, D. (2014) Employment Law. 7thed. Harlow: Pearson.