Last week it was revealed that several clubs had breached the UEFA Financial Fair Play Rules and had been offered settlement proposals in respect of their breaches. UEFA’s recent investigations relate to accounts from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Seasons and are reported in today’s Manchester Evening News to include sanctions against Manchester City. Under the current regulations, clubs must limit financial losses to no more than 45 million euros over the preceding two years.
It is believed that the offers made to the infringing clubs by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board include fines or restrictions on their playing squads for next season’s European competition. This could mean that the infringing clubs may have to leave out some of their more expensive players in favour of using home-grown talent. The clubs in question are now in the position of either accepting the sanctions proposed by UEFA or attempting to negotiate a lesser punishment. The cases will go to an adjudicatory panel for a final ruling should the clubs fail to negotiate a settlement that UEFA classes as acceptable. The next stage in the appeal process would be for clubs to travel to the Court of Adjudication for Sport.
Advocates of the FFP Rules want to clamp down on the massive expenditure at the hands of some of Europe’s financial heavyweights on the basis that they believe it is ruining the integrity of the modern game. Recent reports indicate that two of the clubs involved in the recent breaches are Manchester City and Paris St Germain. The two clubs competed in the Champions League this season and have both shelled out large amounts in transfer fees over the past couple of seasons. Manchester City possesses a large financial backing at the hands of the Abu Dhabi United Group whereas PSG are heavily funded by the Qatar Tourist Authority.
UEFA does possess the option to exclude infringing clubs from European competition but it is unlikely that such a draconian punishment will be imposed against either of the two clubs in question. It remains to be seen what the true impact of the recently introduced FFP Rules will be but we can expect to hear more on the story later this week when UEFA is expected to publish further details of the breaches and sanctions imposed.
Here at Farleys we have a specialist department covering all aspects of sports law. Our sports lawyers regularly advise both clubs and individuals on the implications of the Financial Fair Play Rules. If you have been affected by any of the above issues and would like to speak to one of our specialist sports law solicitors then do not hesitate to contact us today.