EPL And Ligue1 Team Up To Lobby UEFA Over Third-Party Ownership

December 23, 2011

The English Premier League and French Football League, Ligue 1 have combined to lobby UEFA concerning the issue of selling player transfer rights to investors and the effect it will have on financial fair play. Previously this month, UEFA stated it will investigate third-party ownership, a practice that is allowed in most of Europe, but banned in both France and England.

The two nations hold the belief that because third-party ownership is permitted under the FFP rules, English and French clubs will be at a serious disadvantage as clubs in Spain, Portugal an Germany will be able to purchase players for a lower price because a lower party holds on to a percentage of the rights, which can be repaid over the length of the players contract.

Third-party ownership was outlawed by the Premier League following the controversy surrounding the Carlos Tevez affair and has warned that if the practice is permitted to continue, the integrity of competition will be seriously damaged. A spokesman for the Premier League said: “Third-party ownership is prohibited under Premier League rules as we believe it threatens the integrity of the game,

“We are aware that it is permitted under UEFA’s financial fair play regulations and that this could create a disadvantage for our clubs competing in European competition.

“We believe that restricting transparent owner equity investment while having no prohibition on third-party player investment seems at odds with the principles of FFP. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) also restricts third-party ownership and we have had initial discussions with them to consider how we might work together to further highlight these issues at UEFA and FIFA level.”

Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s head of club licensing, has admitted that the issue is a major concern. UEFA will evaluate club’s account over a three year period beginning with the current 2011-12 financial year. Clubs involved in European competition will be allowed to make a loss of just Eur45 million over those years.