UEFA are planning to make some changes in the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules at the end of the year. UEFA is pressing ahead with plans to overhaul its controversial Financial Fair Play rules by the end of the year.
The rules were introduced in 2009 to encourage clubs to break even and spend what they could afford, but many in the game now think they are ineffective, unenforceable, and not fit for purpose. However, there is a widespread belief across the footballing world that these rules are virtually obsolete and are poorly enforced across the board.
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As a result of the financial crisis in football caused by the pandemic, UEFA announced earlier this year it would review its FFP rules to see if a more effective system of checks and balances could be introduced to monitor and control spending. UEFA wants the new rules to focus on the high levels of spending on wages and transfers and it is considering introducing a salary cap and a luxury tax on transfers.
Financial Fair play was particularly brought to light after Paris Saint-Germain signed Lionel Messi this week. However, PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi said: “We have followed Financial fair play (FFP) regulations since day 1. Before we do anything, our financial team checks everything. We had the capacity to sign Messi for Financial Fair Play and we will always follow the rules”.
UEFA estimates European clubs have missed out on £7.5bn of revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before Euro 2020 started this summer, European football’s governing body’s president Aleksander Ceferin insisted football across the continent needed new rules for a new future to achieve financial sustainability.
Speaking at the 45th UEFA Congress, following the European Super League debacle, Ceferin said: “I have read…that we are planning to abolish FFP.”
“Let me be clear: that is not going to happen. However, we do need to adapt it to the new reality. We need to encourage and release investments.
“We need to correct some of the injustices that Financial Fair Play may indirectly bring about in the current circumstances.”
Before the pandemic hit the world clubs across Europe were limited by UEFA to losing £26m over a rolling three-year period. In June last year, the organisation introduced emergency measures which allowed owners to put more money into clubs during the pandemic. Until the new rules are introduced clubs will not be punished for breaking FFP rules if they can prove the losses were caused by the pandemic.
Many powerful voices at UEFA now believe spending on wages and transfer fees has gone out of control. As a result, there have been suggestions that there will be new measures such as salary caps and luxury tax on transfers. UEFA’s new recommendations will be delivered before the end of the year.