UEFA Issues FFP Ultimatum

January 27, 2012

UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) has warned European soccer’s top clubs of the sanctions which will befall them if they do not comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Sides could be hit with fines or excluded from European competition outright, as well all being prohibited from fielding new players, suffering points deduction or limits on squad sizes.

UEFA are currently trying to secure European Union law ratification for these sanctions, and UEFA’s senior lawyer, Alasdair Bell, has stated the organisation is ready to take the “risk” and defend itself in court against any club who questions a sanction.

“The system is not going to have much credibility if a big club that is in serious breach of the rules is not punished in an effective way. For me the sanctions need to be effective enough that people come into compliance with the system otherwise clubs are going to become disillusioned rapidly”.

The announcement is a self-entitled “last wake-up call” and come as it was revealed that the losses of the continent’s top sides rose by 36% to 1.64 billion euro ($2.2 billion) in the 2010 financial year.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said 13 clubs currently playing in European competition , either the Champions League or the Europa League, would have failed the break-even tests required from the 2013-14 season.

“It’s the last wake-up call that this red trend has to be inverted very, very quickly if we want to safeguard European soccer”.

UEFA’s financial fair play rules will come to fruition in the 2013-14 season but this analysis will include clubs’ accounts for the previous three years, including with the current 2011-12 financial year.

The stipulation is that all clubs competing in European competition will be permitted to lose only 45 million euros over these three years.

UEFA’s fourth club licensing benchmark report revealed on Wednesday this week explored the fiscal health of the European game in some depth.

It included the financial figures of 90% of all top-division sides – 665 clubs in total –  and revealed that 56% of clubs are making a loss with total debts of 8.4 billion euros ($11 billion).

While revenues rose 6.6% to reach a record 12.8 billion euros ($16.8 billion); costs rocketed in turn by 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to 14.4 billion euros ($18.9 billion).


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