This policy explains how The Football League Limited (operating under its brand name of the English Football League (EFL)) uses personal data provided by, or received in respect of, players (including Premier League and National League players) and academy players (as well as persons associated with them) and all other persons associated with the EFL, but not employed or contracted by the EFL, including, match officials, agents, managers, trialists, coaches, scouts, club staff, directors (including shadow directors) and club owners, and player family members (you or your), in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (including as adopted in English law following Brexit) and other applicable data protection legislation including the Data Protection Act 2018 (together, the Data Protection Law). Capitalised terms in this policy will have the same meaning as under the EFL Regulations, unless stated otherwise.
PLEASE READ THIS POLICY, TOGETHER WITH ANY OTHER PRIVACY NOTICES WHICH WE MAY PROVIDE TO YOU, CAREFULLY SO THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF AND UNDERSTAND THE WAYS IN WHICH WE COLLECT AND USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA.
This policy applies to our use of your personal data, but other organisations such as the Football Association (the FA), Premier League, National League, the Professional Footballers Association (the PFA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (together, the Football Authorities), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and the Premier League's, National League’s and EFL's member football clubs (each a Club) (as applicable) are also likely to collect and use your personal data and you should also refer to their respective privacy policies to understand how each of these organisations use your personal data.
This policy is set out in sections so you can click through to the specific areas you want to know. The detail is in each section, along with a quick read summary where relevant:
1.1. Where personal data is collected and used for the purposes set out in this policy, the EFL is a “controller” under the Data Protection Law which means that we are responsible for deciding how we use the personal data that we collect about you. References to “we”, “us” and “our” in this policy are all references to the EFL.
1.2. In accordance with the Data Protection Law, we will ensure that the personal data we hold about you is, at all times:
(a) used fairly, lawfully, and transparently;
(b) collected for limited, specific purposes only;
(c) adequate, relevant to and limited to what is necessary for those purposes;
(d) kept accurate and up-to-date;
(e) not kept for longer than is necessary; and
(f) held securely.
1.3. We shall be accountable for and able to demonstrate our compliance with our obligations under the Data Protection Law, and this policy is one of the ways in which we do that.
1.4. We have appointed a Data Protection Officer to oversee compliance with this policy and our data protection compliance activities. The Data Protection Officer has also established a dedicated data protection team to provide the necessary support. Contact details for the EFL’s Data Protection Officer can be found in the Who can you contact for further details? section below.
1.1. Personal data means any information about you from which you can be identified. It does not include data where your identity has been removed (i.e. anonymous data). There are also “special categories” of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection, for example personal data revealing or concerning a person's racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientations, political opinions, trade union membership, information about health, genetic and biometric data (Special Category Data) and personal data relation to criminal convictions and offences (Criminal Offence Data). For the purpose of this policy Sensitive Category Data and Criminal Offence Data is referred to as "Sensitive Data". We collect and use a range of personal data, including Sensitive Data in some circumstances, depending on your role or relationship with the EFL.
1.2. You provide some of your personal data to us directly (or via your Club):
(a) the information you submit in EFL registration forms and contracts (for example, the EFL Contract (Form 19) or Academy Player Registration Application (YD Form 5));
(b) the information you submit (or are submitted on your behalf) as part of applications, verification or renewal processes required by EFL rules or regulations;
(c) the information contained in identification documents you are required to provide in order to confirm your identity and eligibility (for example, birth certificate, passport and immigration documents);
(d) the information you provide when you enrol in programmes and training initiatives and other events administered by the EFL;
(e) the information you provide in order to register to use certain digital platforms/ services we provide to you;
(f) your photograph and other media recordings (for example, upon joining the EFL or a new Club, or during EFL photoshoots);
(g) the information you submit when completing forms and surveys issued by us as and when required (for example, dietary requirements);
(h) details of incidents and/or allegations of suspected abuse or unsuitable behaviour towards a child or adult at risk (whether that be you or another individual), which will be dealt with in accordance with the EFL Safeguarding Policies;
(i) information on your behaviour in relation to sports integrity and personal conduct including records of incidents and allegations of EFL regulation and/or rule (and/or those of other Football Authorities) breaches and details of as to resolution of such incidents or allegations (which may include Sensitive Data);
(j) your contact details and any emergency contact details; and
(k) any other personal information you share with us, including by way of email, telephone call or interview.
1.3. When you are asked to provide non-mandatory information to the EFL this will be clearly indicated.
1.4. We will also collect other personal data relevant to your EFL-related activities from your Club or other third parties.
1.5. Clubs provide us with (as applicable):
(a) copies of player and certain other Officials contracts which include additional personal data such as details of remuneration;
(b) a copy of the representation agreement entered into by a player with intermediaries;
(c) details of compensation agreements and personal loans;
(d) details of staff roles and qualifications (where relevant) (including, for example, through the Staff Registration System (SRS));
(e) details of staff and player training;
(f) an academy player's "Performance Clock" (as described in more detail in the EFL's Youth Development Rules);
(g) certain information in connection with Club academy quality assurance purposes (for example, via the Academy Standards Application) (as described in more detail in the EFL’s Youth Development Rules);
(h) information on your behaviour in relation to sports integrity and personal conduct including records of incidents and allegations of EFL regulation and/or rule (and/or those of other Football Authorities) breaches and details of as to resolution of such incidents or allegations (which may include Sensitive Data); and
(i) certain medical and health data (i.e. special category data).
1.6. The FA also provides us with documents concerning a player's "right to work" in the UK and a copy of the International Transfer Certificate, together with other information relevant to accreditation or investigation of Officials.
1.7. We may also collect or receive (and in the case of (a) below license the creation by Football DataCo Limited or its media licensee Perform Content Services Limited trading as Opta and its betting and gaming licensee Genius Sports Group Limited trading as Betgenius or its tracking data licensee Second Spectrum Inc (our Data Licensees) and their licensees and in the case of (b) below license the creation by our broadcast partners, but in each case as separate data controllers) the following (as applicable):
(a) live on-field tracking and performance data (for example, positioning, distance run and passes made) (Tracking Data) other match event data (for example, goals scored or fouls conceded) (Event Data) and match-related photographs and still images;
(b) match-related photographs, broadcasts, transmissions, videos and other recordings;
(c) information in relation to an academy player's education records (for example, exam results and target grades) from the Department of Education;
(d) information in connection with a retired player's future career opportunities;
(e) information on your behaviour in relation to sports integrity and personal conduct including records of incidents and allegations of EFL regulation and/or rule (and/or those of other Football Authorities) breaches and details of how such incidents and allegations are resolved. Such information may include details of Sensitive Data; and
(f) information regarding racial or ethnic origin or other Sensitive Data as part of the EFL’s monitoring and promotion of equality of opportunities and other diversity programmes;
(g) contact details for the personnel of current and prospective broadcast and other commercial partners, licensees and stakeholders and other personal data as required for the negotiation and performance of contractual and commercial arrangements;
(h) other information available through public sources and/or records lawfully accessible through legal, governmental or other competent bodies.
1.8. The EFL takes its duty to safeguard vulnerable people, including youth players and other children, seriously, by collecting and analysing records of incidents and allegations of abuse, exploitation or inappropriate conduct, by reference to the law and our rules and regulations. Please note that we may collect and process your personal data (including from public sources) without your knowledge or consent where this is required and/ or permitted by law.
1.9 The EFL is also committed to taking action against racism in football and society generally and cooperates with stakeholders to monitor social media for racist material aimed at EFL players (using relevant keywords) in order to ensure its expeditious removal from social media and to report on such material to other stakeholders including the Clubs, the FA, Premier League and Kick It Out (our Online Abuse Programme).
1.1. We collect and use personal data for a range of specific and legitimate reasons which will vary depending on your role or relationship with the EFL. We only collect and use personal data in accordance with Data Protection Law. For the most part, we collect and use personal data because it is necessary for our "legitimate interests", that is, in order to operate, administer, regulate and govern the EFL competitions and to support Clubs' associated activities in an effective and lawful manner.
1.2. In particular, it is necessary:
(a) to confirm identity and eligibility in the application of rules and regulations, including relating to:
(i) player registration and transfers in order to ensure that players are eligible to play for, and where relevant be employed as a professional player by, their Club in the EFL competitions;
(ii) administering the Owners and Directors Test (OADT) and other registration, verification or notification requirements applicable to Relevant Persons; and
(iii) compliance by Clubs with all requirements of the EFL regulations and rules i.e. use of appropriately qualified and certified managers, coaches or medical staff;
(b) to confirm identity and eligibility in the application of rules and regulation relating to Club employment, qualifications and licensing in order to ensure individuals are eligible to undertake certain roles at Clubs (for example, administration of the owners’ and directors’ test);
(c) to create an accurate picture of racial, ethnic diversity within football to allow for informed assessments to be made about, and action taken in respect of, equality of opportunity in the EFL and Premier League. NOTE: in accordance with Data Protection Law (and in addition to what is set out under the ‘What are your rights?’ section below) you may at any time give us written notice requiring us to stop processing your personal data for this purpose within a reasonable period;
(d) to ensure contracts and registration documents comply with the rules and regulations set down by the Football Authorities (as well as our own);
(e) for identity verification purpose so as to maintain a high level of security at matches and other EFL events (including by producing identity cards);
(f) to help provide the Players' Pensions Scheme (administered by AON);
(g) to audit Club development and training initiatives (including Academies) to ensure Clubs are meeting the standards set out in the EFL Rules;
(h) to administer, deliver and support Academy player education and coach development;
(i) to prevent unauthorised access to confidential information (including personal information) by creating registered accounts for use of certain digital platforms/ services which we provide to you
(j) to record and confirm player match appearances (and participation of other Club personnel) and performances;
(k) for safeguarding vulnerable individuals like youth players and other children in accordance with the EFL Safeguarding Policies;
(l) to comply with health and safety and other legal obligations and uphold our duty of care towards you and other individuals;
(m) to act against racism including as part of the Online Abuse Programme;
(n) to resolve disputes and allegations;
(o) to communicate with you;
(p) to maintain integrity and prevent crime and corruption within football;
(q) to promote / commercialise EFL football including by publishing or sharing footage, photographs of and information on players and match officials and their performances and by sharing information such as Tracking Data with broadcast partners;
(r) administer and promote other EFL events, including by way of example nominations for awards;
(s) to protect and enforce rights and where necessary or appropriate take legal action;
(t) to generate internal reports, circulars and publications to help develop and improve EFL rules, policies, procedures and strategies (for example in response to the impact of Brexit on English football);
(u) for preserving the history of football and the EFL competitions; and
(v) for other administrative and statistical tasks required to discharge the EFL’s function as an organising, regulatory and governing body of football and support other leagues and Football Authorities to who's jurisdiction you are subject.
1.3. Before using your personal data for our legitimate interests, we make sure that we take into account any potential impact that such use may have on you to ensure that your interests and fundamental rights and freedoms do not override those interests. In other words, we have determined that the EFL has a legitimate need to process your personal data and we are not aware of any reasons that, on balance, mean we should not be doing so. If you have concerns about our processing please refer to What are your Rights? section below.
1.4. In accordance with Data Protection Law, in rare circumstances we may also use your personal data because:
(a) we need to comply with a legal obligation (for example, because it is laid down in law or the court has ordered us to do so);
(b) it is necessary for the purpose of negotiating, entering or complying with a contract between you and us; or
(b) it may be necessary to protect yours or someone else's vital interests in emergency situations.
1.5. We generally do not rely on your consent in order to process your personal data and we will inform you specifically when we seek to obtain this from you as well as your ability to withdraw that consent at any time.
1.6. We also only use Sensitive Data in accordance with the Data Protection Law and therefore only if:
(a) It is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest. Data Protection Law provides for the use of special category personal data where it is necessary for the purposes of:
(i) measures designed to protect the integrity of a sport or a sporting event. This includes measures to prevent or protect against dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper conduct, or failure by a person participating in the sport or event in any capacity to comply with standards of behaviour set by a body or association with responsibility for the sport or event. We rely on this condition in performing our governing, regulatory and oversight function for the EFL competitions;
(ii) measures designed to eliminate (including to identify or prevent) doping which are undertaken by or under the responsibility of a body that is responsible for eliminating doping in a sport generally and for the purposes of providing information about doping or suspected doping to such a body or association (such as the Football Authorities and the Word Anti-Doping Authority). We rely on this condition in performing our governing, regulatory and oversight function for the EFL competitions; or
(iii) the prevention or detection of an unlawful act which must be carried out without the consent of the data subject so as not to prejudice such purposes. We may need to rely on this condition in performing our governing, regulatory and oversight function for the EFL competitions;
(iv) protecting children and individuals at risk from neglect or physical, mental or emotional harm, or protecting the physical, mental or emotional well-being of an individual where consent cannot be or reasonably expected to be obtained or may prejudice the provision of protection. We rely on this condition under our EFL Safeguarding Policies; or
(v) identifying or keeping under review the existence or absence of equality of opportunity between groups of people with a view to enabling such equality to be promoted or maintained. We rely on this condition in relation to our diversity programmes.
(b) It is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or where you have already made the information public. We may need to rely on this condition in performing our governing, regulatory and oversight function for the EFL competitions, and may also need to do so under our EFL Safeguarding Policies.
(c) We have your explicit written consent. In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain Sensitive Data where there is no other legal basis. If we do so, we (or a third party) will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. For example:
You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time and can do so by contacting us using the details provided below.
(c) We may process your personal data in emergency situations where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent.
1.7. Unless otherwise required or permitted by law, before using your personal data for a purpose unrelated to the reason we collected it, we will notify you and explain the purpose and legal basis which allows us to do so.
If you have any questions or require any additional information about the purposes for which your personal data is required and/ or our legal justification you can contact the EFLs dedicated Data Protection Team using the contact details set out below.
1.1. Some countries outside of the UK and the European Union (EU) do not have laws that protect privacy rights and personal data as extensively as the UK and countries in the EU. Therefore, in accordance with Data Protection Law, if we do transfer your personal data outside of the UK and the EU, we ensure that your personal data is afforded a similar level of protection by ensuring one the specific safeguards approved by the European Commission is in place. You can find further information about these safeguards at https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en
1.2. We only routinely transfer personal data outside of the EU in the following circumstances:
(a) our data licensees transfer Tracking Data and Event Data to non-EEA broadcast partners for public broadcast or sports data partners for commercial, statistical and analysis purposes.
(b) In certain circumstances we share player personal data with FIFA which is located in Switzerland.
(c) We transfer personal data required to arrange and administer international EFL events such as the Premier League Asia Trophy (e.g. team sheets and to arrange visas).
1.3. If you would like further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA please contact us using the details provided below.
1.1. The EFL is committed to protecting your privacy and has put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures are available upon request using the details provided below.
1.2. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
1.3. Where we have given you or you have chosen a password which enables you to access certain digital platforms/ services, you are responsible for using reasonable care in keeping this password confidential.
1.1. In accordance with Data Protection Law, EFL will only keep your personal data:
(a) for as long as necessary to fulfil the specific purposes we collected it for - for example, we will retain your contact details until such time as there is no foreseeable need to communicate with you. In a lot of cases, we wish to retain personal data because, although it is no longer necessary to process it currently, it is likely to become necessary to do so again in the near future. For instance, where your Club is no longer competing in the EFL but may do so again in the future;
(b) to the extent reasonably necessary to comply with a legal requirement or legal reasons - for example, documents containing personal data may need to be retained for an extended period of time (generally for six years) if there is a real risk that they could be the subject of a claim, or may otherwise be relevant to future litigation; or
(c) as advisable in light of certain legal issues (or potential issues) - for example, we may retain information in relation to safeguarding issues after the conclusion of an investigation so that we can address historical allegations in the future.
1.2. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
1.3. In accordance with the EFL's Data Retention Policy and Data Protection Law, after the applicable retention period has ended, the personal data will be either (as applicable):
(a) securely deleted or destroyed - when the information is no longer required in any form;
(b) anonymised (so that it can no longer be associated with you) - for example, where the data remains useful in an aggregated/ generic form for statistical purposes; or
(c) transferred to the EFL "archive" - an "archive" is a collection of personal data which is no longer necessary to achieve the purposes for which the information was originally collected or which is no longer used for general business activities, but are used only for historical, scientific or statistical purposes, dispute resolution, or investigations. We wish to continue to retain some personal data as it effectively forms part of the history of the EFL, its competition and the sport of football, for example, player registration information after the player has retired. We maintain appropriate measures to keep archived personal data secure, in accordance with Data Protection Law.
1.4. Specific details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available upon request by using the contact details provided below.
1.1. Under Data Protection Law, you have certain rights (depending on the circumstances) in connection with your personal data, which include:
(a) Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it, provided always that this does not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of other people.
(b) Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. Where any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or incomplete we will act promptly to rectify this, including where you have requested us to do so.
(c) Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
(d) Object to use of your personal data where we are relying on our legitimate interests (see “How and why we use your Personal Data”) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to our use on this ground.
(e) Withdraw your consent to our use of your personal data where we do so in reliance on your consent. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your personal data for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.
(f) Request the restriction of use of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the use of personal data about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for using it.
1.2. We are committed to respecting your rights. You may action your rights (as applicable) by contacting us using the details provided below and we will comply with your requests within a reasonable period unless we have a lawful reason not to do so. Requests should be made in writing and to ensure that personal data is dealt with carefully and confidentially the EFL will require the requestor to provide verification of their identity and all applications must be accompanied by copies of at least two official documents, which show your name, date of birth and current address (for example, driving licence, birth/ adoption certificate, passport, recent utility bill).
1.3. Note: in responding to such requests, we will explain the impact of any objections, restrictions or deletions requested, which may be significant if our use of your personal data is necessary for you to fulfil your role or relationship with the EFL.
1.4. We will not charge you a fee to exercise your rights unless your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive, in which case we may charge you a reasonable fee. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.
You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK data protection authority. The ICO's contact details as are follows: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745; https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
We may need to update this policy, and minor changes will be posted on this page so you should check back from time to time. Significant changes will be notified to you.
This Notice was last updated in June 2022.
Data Protection Officer
10-12 West Cliff