A contract is an agreement reached between its parties, which they intend to be binding legally.
Contract negotiations may be involved in player recruitment, employee recruitment, sponsorship, facility hiring, transportation to events, club and participant registration.
Contractual issues are important for the administrator to understand as they will from time to time become involved in contractual arrangements within sport and recreation organisations.
Elements of a Contract
The basic elements of a contract are:-
Contractual capacity: Generally persons must be over 18 and not be affected by mental disability or drunkenness where one party should have known or did know of the other party's mental disability or drunkenness.
Offer, consideration and acceptance: All three elements must be present. For example, an organisation may make an offer to a prospective coach "Would you coach our team this season for $5000?" The $5000 is the consideration. It is the value of the offer. If the coach agrees then that is the acceptance.
Intention: A legally enforceable contract exists if both parties intend to enforce the contract, for example the offer to a person to coach a team for a set fee. To alleviate contractual problems, many organisations have standard contracts and these can be adapted for use in a particular situation.
Unfair Employment Contracts
The Industrial Commissions in the relevant states have the jurisdiction to hear unfair contracts in relation to employment. For example, the Commission can intervene where it believes contracts are:
- against the public interest
- designed to avoid award provision
- provide for inadequate remuneration.
Case of an Unfair Contract - ANZSLA newsletter (1995) 5(4): 5-6
A semi-professional footballer brought proceedings in the Industrial Court of New South Wales against his club. He sought to have his playing contract declared unfair and to have it varied on the ground that it did not make sufficient provision for the payment of compensation if he was injured playing football. The court varied the player's contract to rectify this. His club and the NSW Rugby League were jointly ordered to pay compensation to the player for his injuries.