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UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 1

UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations

The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations, first agreed in principle in September 2009 by the Financial Control
Panel of football’s governing body in Europe (Union of European Football Associations – UEFA), were brought in
to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success and in doing so getting
into financial problems which might threaten their long term survival.[1]
Introduced amid concern at the heavy spending of a number of professional clubs across Europe, it was hoped that
the regulations would eventually lead to a more ‘level playing field’ by preventing clubs with very wealthy owners
who make substantial cash gifts to their club from gaining an unfair advantage over other clubs who are run on a
more sustainable business model, and in so doing encourage lower levels of spending. The financial fair play (FFP)
regulations provide for sanctions to be taken against clubs who do not spend within a set budgetary framework over
several seasons.
The 2011–12 football season is the first during which the regulations apply;[2] The ultimate penalty is
disqualification from European competitions.[3] Other possible penalties originally included fines, the withholding of
prize money, and transfer bans.[4] As of early 2012, however, UEFA has had to shelve plans to ban player transfers
following legal advice, and it remains to be seen if other threatened sanctions will be taken in practice.
On announcing the new legislation, UEFA President Michel Platini said,
Fifty per cent of clubs are losing money and this is an increasing trend. We needed to stop this
downward spiral. They have spent more than they have earned in the past and haven't paid their debts.
We don't want to kill or hurt the clubs; on the contrary, we want to help them in the market. The teams
who play in our tournaments have unanimously agreed to our principles…living within your means is
the basis of accounting but it hasn't been the basis of football for years now. The owners are asking for
rules because they can't implement them themselves - many of them have had it with shovelling money
into clubs and the more money you put into clubs, the harder it is to sell at a profit.
Platini went on to say that the measures were backed by the majority of football club owners, and that an
independent panel would be set up to judge whether clubs had broken the rules.

A UEFA review in 2009 showed that more than half of 655 European clubs made a loss over the previous year, and
although a small proportion were able to sustain heavy losses year-on-year as a result of the wealth of their owners,
at least 20% of clubs surveyed were believed to be in actual financial peril. The reasons for this are well summarised
in the 2010–12 House of Commons report on Football Governance:
Club owners are generally over optimistic about their management abilities and vision for a club. With
ample academic evidence that there is a clear correlation between squad wages and points won[5] -
something which is obvious to owners - there is a natural tendency to borrow in the pursuit of success,
although not all teams can be successful. There are many examples of clubs where the directors (true
fans) have "chased the dream" - gambling short-term investment (or borrowing) in the hope of long-term
success. The pressure on the directors of a club to invest, to sign a star player…is often immense from
ordinary supporters.
Even among Europe's elite sides, continued excessive spending has often been justified by club executives as being
"necessary to keep the club competitive". As Christian Müller, CFO of the Bundesliga told the European
Commission: "...we learn by experience all over the world [that] most club executives tend to operate riskily, tend to
overestimate their chances in the Championship. This may result in disproportionate spending relative to the income
some clubs generate... club executives have somehow to be protected from themselves."[]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 2

The vast majority of the overall European football debt is owed by only three of the biggest leagues: the English
Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish Primera División, commonly known as La Liga.

The English, Italian and Spanish leagues

Premier League
A report by the accountants Deloitte indicated that total debt among the 20 Premier League clubs for the year
2008-09 was around £3.1 billion.[6]
At the time of the introduction FFP, several Premier League clubs were known to be spending considerably above
their income. For example, between 2005 and 2010 West Ham United recorded an aggregate net loss of £90.2
million, with equity of £13.063 million on 31 May 2010 following a re-capitalization,[7] while Everton, whose
former manager David Moyes had long received praise for his continued ability to keep the club among the top
Premiership sides despite an extremely tight transfer budget, had a negative equity (in group accounts) of £29.774
million on 31 May 2010, making a net loss of £3.093 million in consolidated accounts.[8]
Worst of all though were the finances of Portsmouth, who had a shortfall of £59,458,603 to the creditor in February
2010 (after deducting the book value of the asset)[9] Having invested heavily on players over previous seasons, (the
previous year's net loss was covered by Alexandre Gaydamak), Portsmouth were runners-up of the 2009–10 FA Cup
in 2010, but as the season wore on the financial situation deteriorated, leaving players unpaid and the club with an
outstanding bill for income tax which in turn led to a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs.[10] There
then followed administration to avoid the club being liquidated, a nine-point deduction from the Premier League, and
finally relegation into the lower division. A similar train of events had affected another English club, Leeds United,
some years previously.[11]
The problem of debt was not confined to the top division, with a number of clubs in the second tier of English
football, the Football League Championship seemingly gambling their futures in an effort to gain promotion into the
Premiership. The 2010 - 2012 parliamentary report into English football noted that; "much of the overspending (by
non Premier league clubs) is as a result of the desire to get into the ‘promised land’ of the Premier League or indeed
to simply stay there... the prevailing reasoning amongst Football League sides seems to be that excessive levels of
spending can be sustained for a few years within which time promotion must be achieved. After that, Premier
League revenues can be used to pay off all the debts accrued"

Serie A
In the Italian Serie A most clubs also reported a net loss over the previous season: A.C. Milan (group) €69.751
million on 31 December 2010;[12] Genoa C.F.C. €16,964,706 on 31 December 2010; ACF Fiorentina €9,604,353 on
31 December 2010; Bologna F.C. 1909 €4,166,419 on 30 June 2011; Chievo €527,661 on 30 June 2011, etc. Only a
few Italian clubs made a net profit, these included Udinese Calcio, Calcio Catania, S.S.C. Napoli (€4,197,829 on 30
June 2011) and S.S. Lazio (€9,982,408 on the group account on 30 June 2011[13]).
Some of the Italian clubs had been losing money for a number of years; for example Internazionale have
accumulated losses of around €1.3 billion over the last 16 years,[14] while on 20 May 2005 S.S. Lazio agreed a
23-year repayment plan to pay back a €140 million overdue tax bill.[15] The club recovered however, showing a net
asset/equity of €10,500,666 in its consolidated accounts on 30 June 2011, while net financial debt of the group
(Italian: Posizione finanziaria netta) was €9.01 million. Its city rival A.S. Roma SpA, from its ultimate holding
company Italpetroli, intermediate holding company "Roma 2000" (the holding company or the head of Roma larger
group of companies, holding company of "ASR Real Estate S.r.l." and "Brand Management S.r.l.") to AS Roma SpA
(or AS Roma [smaller] group), owed considerable money to banks, including UniCredit. On 30 June 2010, AS Roma
SpA had a negative equity (total liability greater than total asset) of €13.2 million on the consolidated balance
sheet,[16] which ultimately led to the group ("Roma 2000") being sold to group of investor lead by American
billionaire Thomas R. DiBenedetto (25%). Before the formal handover on 30 June 2011, the club had a net financial
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 3

debt of €53.831 million, with a negative equity of €43.984 million.[17]

La Liga
Despite the most recent report showing 8% growth in the Spanish La Liga’s revenues, the highest of any European
league, the overwhelming majority of the extra money went to the two dominant clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona,
primarily due to their ability to negotiate separate TV deals.[18] During the summer of 2009, Real Madrid paid a
world record transfer fee of £80 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite being the world’s second richest club
according to the Forbes' List, heavy spending on two other players, Kaká, and Karim Benzema with their associated
high wages trebled Real’s net financial debt from €130M on 30 June 2008 to €326.7M on 30 June 2009, as the
signing Albiol, Benzema, Kaká, Ronaldo and some minor players to 2009–10 squad were included in the 2008–09
financial year.[19] Madrid signed one more big name, Xabi Alonso in August 2009, made the net financial debt only
dropped from €326.7 million to €244.6 million on 30 June 2010, still higher than previous 8 seasons (2000–2008).
However, the net asset/equity was increased from €195.9M to €219.7M.[20][21] Their main rivals Barcelona also
continued to spend heavily on transfers and players wages, although in recent years, the level had been slightly
reduced. On 30 June 2009 Barcelona's net asset/equity was just €20.844 million.[22][23]
Total debt in La Liga was estimated at £2.5 billion, leaving many of the owners, as so often in the past, having to put
more of their own money into the club. In the summer of 2010, Villarreal failed to pay their players because the
ceramics industry from which their owner, Fernando Roig made his money was hit hard by the European credit
crisis. At the end of the year, Deportivo de La Coruña were more than €120 million in debt, Atlético Madrid owed
more than €300 million, while the total for Valencia at one point in 2009 was reported to be as high as €547m.[24] In
2007, during a property boom, Valencia's management decided to build a new 70,000 capacity stadium, despite
doubts that it could attract enough fans to regularly fill it. Construction of the 'Nou Mestalla' was to be funded by the
sale of the existing ground, however two years into the project work ground to a halt when following the Spanish
property crash the club could not find a buyer.[25] Despite an impressive display on the field, Valencia was forced to
temporarily halt work on a new stadium and delay players wages when its bank Bancaja denied it more credit,
forcing management to sell some of their best players, including David Silva and David Villa.
In the lower Spanish leagues, at least six clubs, including second-tier sides Real Sociedad, Celta de Vigo, and
Levante were in administration with more threatened as the recession worsened. In July 2008, the Spanish
Government revealed that the clubs had a combined debt of £507 million to the tax authorities alone, with substantial
amounts owed to a number of other state bodies, such as the social security system.[26]

The French and German leagues

For a number of years, the clubs in the two other big European leagues, the French Ligue 1 and the German
Bundesliga, have been subject to regulations not unlike the FFP rules.

Ligue 1
In France, The Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion (DNCG) is responsible for administering, monitoring,
and overseeing the accounts of all professional clubs to ensure that owners are being financially prudent. Sanctions
for non-compliance include transfer embargoes, reduced playing squads, demotion, or even expulsion from the
league. Despite lower incomes, French clubs do not carry the enormous multi-million euro debt of the English,
Italian and Spanish leagues. A number of French clubs have produced small profits over a number of years,
concentrating on developing young players in modern academies who then generate good profits when sold. For
example, in the four years up to 2009 player trading by Lille, one of the leading clubs exceeded €164 million in
OL Group, the holding company of the same name (Olympique Lyonnais), had a net profit of €5.1 million in
2008–09 season.[28]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 4

At the end of each season, clubs in the Bundesliga must apply to the German Football Federation (DFB) for a licence
to participate again the following year; only when the DFB, who have access to all transfer documents and accounts,
are satisfied that there is no threat of insolvency do they give approval.[29] The DFB have a system of fines and
points deductions for clubs who flout rules and those who go into the red can only buy a player after selling one for
at least the same amount. In addition, no individual is allowed to own more than 49 percent of any Bundesliga club.
Despite the good economic governance in the German league, there have still been some instances of clubs getting
into difficulties. In 2004, Borussia Dortmund reported a debt of €118.8 million (£83 million).[30] Having won the
Champions League in 1997 and a number of Bundesliga titles, Dortmund had gambled to maintain their success with
an expensive group of largely foreign players but failed, narrowly escaping liquidation in 2006. In subsequent years,
the club went through extensive restructuring to return to financial health, largely with young home-grown players.
In 2004 Hertha BSC reported debts of £24.7 million and were able to continue in the Bundesliga only after proving
they had long term credit with their bank.
The leading German club FC Bayern Munich made a net profit of just €2.5 million in 2008–09 season (group
accounts), while Schalke 04 made a net loss of €30.4 million in 2009 financial year. Borussia Dortmund GmbH &
Co. KGaA, made a net loss of just €2.9 million in 2008–09 season.[31]

Other leagues
Other European leagues include the Portuguese Primeira Liga, the Dutch Eredivisie and the Scottish Premier League.
Mainly as a result of their lower populations and smaller economies, these and other leagues such as the Belgian,
Danish and Scandinavian leagues generate less revenue than those of the bigger nations and there are currently no
clubs in the Deloitte Top 20 from outside the big five leagues, although these are home to a number of extremely
well run and successful clubs.
Despite earning only 1/6th of Real Madrid’s revenue for example, Portuguese club FC Porto regularly reach the last
16 of the Champions League and have been European champions twice - in 1986–87 and as recently as 2003–04.
Porto make use of third party deals and an extremely effective scouting network, particularly in South America, to
buy promising young players to develop and play in the first team for a few years before selling them on for a big
profit. Since 2004 Porto has covered its large operating losses with a €190 million net profit in player sales.[32]
Another big Portuguese club, S.L. Benfica also regularly competes at the highest level, being crowned European
champions twice and being beaten finalists another five times.
The three main Dutch clubs, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have each been crowned European champions at
least once, however, in recent years, their dominance has been challenged by the emergence of other clubs such as
FC Twente, meaning they can no longer always rely on annual infusions of Champions League cash. As in other
countries, the Global Recession greatly diminished sponsorship and TV income in the Netherlands, turning an
Eredivisie profit of €64m in 2007/08 into a €90m loss for 2009/10.[33] PSV Eindhoven recorded a €17.5 million
loss as their annual revenue dropped back 40% from €85 million to €50 million, while major rival Ajax - the only
Dutch club listed on the stock exchange - lost €22.8 million.[34] After enjoying 11 consecutive years of CL
qualification and reaching the CL semi-final in 2005, PSV found its regular profits turning into losses and began
selling top players, including Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur), Mark van Bommel (Barcelona), Park Ji-Sung
(Manchester United), Johann Vogel (Milan), Alex (Chelsea), and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic). Able to count
only on the much lower revenues of the Europa League (less than €4m in 2010[35]), the club took on a €10m loan
from its long-standing benefactor, the electronic giant Phillips and in April 2012 was forced to sell its ground and
training complex to the local council for €49 million, leasing it back for €2.3 million per year. A leading councillor
said that the move was necessary because of ‘the idiocy of big money and the game played between millionaires and
football agents’[36]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 5

Recognising the unique social and cultural important of its clubs, Dutch local authorities invested over €300 million
in football between 2006 and 2011, mainly through indirect subsidies and loans to clubs such as FC Utrecht, FC
Groningen, FC Twente, Vitesse Arnhem and ADO Den Haag, though it is possible that such aid may fall foul of EU
rules which govern the use of unfair subsidies.
A 2011 report from accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers expressed deep concern at the fragile financial state of
Scottish football. Despite a modest profit in five of the previous six seasons, net indebtedness of SPL clubs had
grown over the previous year to £109m, with half of clubs reporting a worsening position and only two clubs,
Hamilton Academical and St. Johnstone debt free.[37] Despite providing the first British team (Celtic in 1967) to
become European champions, since the advent of pay-per-view TV Scottish football had failed to keep up with its
English counterpart; in stark contrast to the Premier League's vast TV earnings, following the collapse of the Irish
satellite broadcaster Setanta in June 2009 the joint Sky-ESPN TV rights to be shared among all SPL clubs now
amounted to only £13m per year, a figure little changed from the £12m it had received under the Sky deal as long
ago as 1998.[38]
Following the global downturn, job insecurity and rising unemployment meant that a number of Scottish fans did not
renew season tickets, leading to a 10% (or 100,000) fall in attendances over one year. The entire turnover of SPL
champions Glasgow Rangers for the 2008 09 season dropped 38% to only £39.7m, a tiny fraction that of the English
champions Manchester United’s earnings of €327m.[39] As with other leagues, participation in the UEFA Champions
League continued to make the crucial difference between profit and loss for the two ‘Old Firm’ clubs, however
because of mediocre performances in recent years the SPL champions no longer qualify automatically for the CL
group stages and are now largely confined to the much less lucrative Europa League.

Leveraged buyouts
There was also concern at the heavy debt being loaded onto some clubs as a result of new owners borrowing heavily
to acquire the club and then using future earnings to pay the interest, a practice known as a leveraged buyout.[40][41]
The world’s richest club, Manchester United, was bought in this way by the Glazer family in 2005 after which the
club, previously very profitable, remains several hundred millions of pounds in debt. Since 2005, more than £300m
which might otherwise have been spent on players, improving facilities or simply kept as a contingency has been
taken out of Manchester United and spent on interest, bank fees and derivative losses.[42] (While Manchester United
FC Limited was almost debt free, its ultimate holding company "Red Football Shareholder Limited" had a negative
equity of £64.866 million in its consolidated balance sheet on 30 June 2010.)
Liverpool found itself in a similar position after being purchased by Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett in
February 2007. Although subjected to less leveraged debt than Manchester United, by 31 July 2010 the club was
suffering a negative equity of £5.896 million while its holding company, KOP Football Limited - the entity which
carried the debt - had a negative equity of £111.88 million, leaving the club tottering on the verge of bankruptcy, and
had to be put up for sale. Hicks and Gillett placed what was widely believed to be an unrealistic value on the club in
the hope of making a vast profit however, for which they were severely criticised in the House of Commons as "asset
strippers draining the club with their greed."[43] Eventually Liverpool was bought by a new American consortium,
but because leveraged buyouts are permitted under normal stock market rules they will not be addressed by the FFP
The Leveraged Buyout model is common for normal business ventures where - apart from the actual employees - the
overall national impact of a firm (e.g. a chain of shoe shops) collapsing is not particularly significant since other
companies will fill the gap in the market. LBO’s have sometimes been defended by those using them as mechanisms
to bring greater efficiency and financial discipline to target companies, although there are also examples (e.g. The
Readers Digest & EMI) where they have actually added to an existing problem of debt. To ordinary football fans
who find themselves paying significantly higher ticket prices (around 50% at Manchester United in the first five
years of the Glazer takeover) merely for the privilege of having a new owner, LBO’s are anathema, perhaps
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 6

representing the complete opposite of the wealthy benefactor model, taking money out of the club and providing few
or no positive changes to their club since no new players are purchased and no facilities or stadia (as in the case of
Liverpool) are built or improved. As with debt taken on in an attempt to improve the team, unexpected failure (such
as not qualifying for the Champions League) can cause significant financial problems for clubs loaded with LBO
For these ‘emotional stakeholders’, their club is not a ‘normal business’, but an intrinsic part of their lives and often of
great social and cultural importance to their local community. LBOs are also believed to have played at least a part
role in takeovers at Portsmouth, Hull City, Chesterfield, Notts County and Derby County, and perhaps
unsurprisingly, the main supporters groups of Manchester United and Liverpool, MUST and Spirit of Shankly called
on the British government to legislate against future leveraged buyouts of football clubs, calling for an outright ban
or a limit on the amount which can be borrowed against acquisition – perhaps along the German model where no
individual can own more than 49% of the club. There have also been calls to restrict levels of dividend withdrawal
and improvements in ‘proper person tests’ introduced after the earlier takeover of Manchester City by Thaksin
Shinawatra. After being ousted as prime minister of Thailand in a military coup, Shinawatra was accused of human
rights abuses, charged with three counts of corruption and had his financial assets in Thailand frozen, but eventually
made a significant profit when selling the club to Sheik Mansour.[45]

Wealthy benefactors
A number of clubs across Europe are able to spend substantially more than they earn as a result of the benevolence
of their owners who make substantial financial gifts to the club, either by paying off existing debt, providing direct
injections of cash, issuing extra shares, or giving loans which are later written off. This adversely affects the market
by creating wage and transfer inflation as well encouraging other clubs to spend more than they can afford in an
effort to remain competitive. For example, Internazionale's enormous losses since the mid-1990s have been largely
underwritten by their president, energy company owner Massimo Moratti. Its archrival, A.C. Milan was also
financially supported by Silvio Berlusconi (over €120 million between 2007 and 2010, prior to 2006 unknown, 2011
result not yet released) The Della Valle brothers also contributed €84.7 million to ACF Fiorentina from 2006 to
2009 (prior to 2005 unknown). Juventus had re-capitalized two times in recent years, by about €104.8 million after
the 2006 Italian football scandal and in 2011 by €120 million. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain became the richest
club in France and one of the richest clubs in the world after Qatar Investment Authority became the majority
shareholder of PSG after buying a controlling 70% of the shares in 2011 by buying the club in a deal worth €50m,
which covered an estimated €15-20m in debt and losses of €19m from the 2010–11 season. PSG splashed a French
record €108m and were the biggest spenders in the world for the 2011–12 season. In the English Premier League,
Chelsea's massive transfer spending since 2003 has been paid for by their owner, the Russian oil and gas billionaire
Roman Abramovich, while Manchester City is owned by one of the world's richest men, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed
bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Since 2008 the owner has spent in excess of £600 million on players and infrastructure at the
club, though this has drawn considerable criticism from other clubs and football figures. Arsenal manager Arsène
Wenger, a major proponent of the FFP legislation, has referred to "transparent owner equity investment" as
"financial doping."[46][47]
Referring to the intention to reduce the plutocratic influence of the "Sugar Daddies," UEFA President Platini said, "If
you buy a house, you have a debt but that doesn't mean someone is going to stop you from working. If you depend
only on a rich benefactor however, then the financial model is too volatile."
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 7

Delay in implementing FFP Rules

Despite broad approval across Europe, in early 2010, the European Club Association succeeded in delaying the full
introduction of the FFP Regulations to give clubs more time to adjust. The original timescale was lengthened, with a
phased implementation over five years meaning that the full rules will apply in 2015 instead of 2012. The clubs also
rejected a proposal by UEFA that the new rule should only apply to clubs with a turnover of more than €50 million,
agreeing that all clubs should be treated the same. Also on the agenda was a proposal to limit squads to 25 players
with unlimited under-21 players per team at national and European level, as well as plans to reduce fees paid to
agents. Clubs also agreed that they will not be able to owe each other money, nor will they be allowed to compete in
Europe if salaries have not been paid to players or non-playing staff.
Despite the delay, ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, representing Bayern Munich, called the new rules "a
magnificent achievement," and pointed out that 93 clubs from 53 countries who attended the ECA's General
Assembly in Manchester agreed with the proposals. He stated, "After only two years of existence, the European Club
Association has managed, together with UEFA, to set measures that will shape the future of European club football
into a more responsible business and ultimately a more sustainable one."
Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill, also a member of the ECA board, said that his club would meet the
new rules, despite their reported debts of £716.5 million. He said, "We have seen what the proposals are and we
would meet the financial break even rules. We as Manchester United have always been run professionally and will
continue to be run professionally."

Summary of current FFP Regulations

Only a club’s outgoings in transfers, employee benefits (including wages), amortisation of transfers, finance costs
and dividends will be counted over income from gate receipts, TV revenue, advertising, merchandising, disposal of
tangible fixed assets, finance, sales of players and prize money. Any money spent on infrastructure, training facilities
or youth development will not be included. The legislation currently allows for eight separate punishments to be
taken against clubs transgressing the rules, based in order of severity: Reprimand / Warning, fines, points deduction,
withholding of Revenue from a UEFA competition, Prohibition to register new players for UEFA competitions,
Restrictions on how many players a club can register for UEFA competitions, Disqualification from a competition in
progress and Exclusion from future competitions
The full regulations are available to download from the UEFA official portal here; http:/ / www. uefa.

Criticism of FFP

Creation of a big club status quo

One of the major criticisms of FFP is the possibility of solidifying the so-called big clubs which generate largest
revenue and profits, and can consequently spend more money on transfers. Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail has
criticised FFP, believing they will create a procession instead of competition and has compared the regulations to a
"a giant drawbridge that is being pulled up." Samuel believed Manchester City's £194m loss in 2010-11 was
justified, with the club having to spend big to get lucrative Champions League football before the "door closes".
Qualification and participation in the UEFA Champions League is regarded as a lucrative affair and can earn clubs
up to £60m in prize money and television rights a season if a club makes it to the final. A club only has to play
thirteen matches from the group stages to reach the final. In comparison, winning the English Premier League earns
the victorious club approximately £60m, but this is won over thirty-eight matches.
The financial gulf between the successful clubs in the top-tier of European league has had an impact domestically,
most notably in the Premier League where for approximately a dozen years (from 1996 to 2008) there had been an
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 8

almost complete dominance of the three major domestic English competitions by just four clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea,
Liverpool and Manchester United), often referred to as the 'Big 4'. During this period the lack of competition for
lucrative Champions League football in England from outside of those four clubs was frequently criticised.
However, more recently the grip on the four top places in the Premier League (that enable automatic entry into the
UEFA Champions League competition) by the incumbent 'Big 4' clubs has been eroded somewhat in more recent
seasons due to the rise in competitive performance of both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and the relative
demise of Liverpool, and in the most recent season, Manchester United.

Questionable sponsorship deals

Some forums have expressed concern at the potential risk that as clubs become ever desperate to raise ‘allowable’
revenue which will positively affect their balance sheet, they will indulge in questionable US style advertising and
sponsorship practices from multiple backers which may eventually compromise the ethical composition of
football.[48] Some clubs are easily able to attract reputable sponsorship due to the willingness of companies to be
associated with a successful brand. For example, many top clubs raise money from selling sponsorship for their
playing as well as their away and training kit, and other titles like the 'Official logistics partner’ (Like Serveto for FC
Barcelona) or 'Official marine engine partner' (Like Yanmar for Manchester United). Several top clubs do similar
deals where they can, however there is the possibility that less successful clubs may eventually form deals with less
reputable organisations and companies as time passes and the FFP rules bite.
To review such practices, UEFA accountants can review related company deals that might be from a sister company
or parent company's subsidiary. Manchester City's deal with the Abu Dhabi Investment Group and PSG's deal with
Qatari Investment Group falls under such reviews.

Potential loopholes
Other commentators pointed to actual and possible loopholes in the legislation itself; for example, up until the end of
the 2014–15 season, clubs will be allowed to exclude from the FFP calculation the wages of players signed before
June 2010 as long as they can show an improved trend in their accounts. There is also the potential for legal action to
overturn the legislation and for larger clubs to artificially raise their income from massive sponsorship deals or
stadium naming rights via companies with a vested interest in the club’s success, or from the sales of "overseas
rights" to consortiums without clearly identified investors.[49]
There are claims that this has already started in the case of Manchester City,[50] where four of the club's eight main
sponsors - Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, telecoms giant Etisalat and Aabar, a global investment
company dealing in oil are ultimately owned by the United Arab Emirates government, of which Manchester City
owner Sheikh Mansour is one of the Deputy Prime Ministers.[51]

Differing tax rates

In addition, there remains the issue of widely differing tax rates and social security costs which the European leagues
are subject to, meaning that some clubs have to pay a player much higher gross wages in order for him to be left with
the same net salary as if he belonged to a club in another country.
In addition, the UEFA guidance states that each club's accounts must be audited under the national accountancy
conditions applicable in their particular country - which may vary.
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 9

Third party ownership

One area of concern for English clubs is the practice of third-party ownership. Under this model, companies or
wealthy individuals buy a percentage of a young player in the hope that if his value increases in the future they will
make a profit based on their percentage. The advantage for clubs is that they can make big savings from not having
to pay the full transfer value of a player and can also make other financial gains, that is, from selling on a player’s
image rights. Following the problems caused by the sale of Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham
United in 2006, third party ownership was banned in the Premiership, although it is widely used in South America
and Europe and is permissible under FFP. Following the introduction of FFP, the Premiership unsuccessfully lobbied
UEFA to review the situation to avoid English clubs being disadvantaged,[52] and in October 2011, the leading sports
lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont told the BBC that the Premier League's third-party ownership rules were not legitimate
and that a legal challenge to overturn them would have a "very, very good chance of succeeding."[53]
On 4 February 2013 UEFA confirmed that it intended to ban third-party ownership of players, stating; "We think this
should be the case all over the world, certainly all over Europe. If FIFA will not do it, we will certainly do it as far as
Europe is concerned,"[54]

Charity and solidarity payments

Another very big issue for English clubs is the substantial payments made to the lower leagues in the football
"pyramid" and to other charities out of their joint Sky TV deal.[55] In 2009 /2010, Premiership clubs paid a total of
£167.2 million to various causes, including £62.2 million to recently relegated clubs in "parachute payments;" £56.4
million across the Football League in "solidarity payments;" £17.3 million to the Professional Footballers'
Association,;£7.8 million domestically and £3 million internationally to the Creating Chances Trust ( a charity for
children leaving care); £12 million to other charities such as the Football Foundation, which provides funding for
grass roots sport; £2.9 million to Professional Games Match Officials (referees and assistant referees); £2 million to
the Conference National; and £500,000 to the League Managers Association
These payments cannot be discounted from FFP. The German, Italian and Spanish leagues are not run along this
model, with only France’s Ligue 1 among the big European leagues having a similar system of voluntary payments
to outside interests. The amounts paid by Premiership clubs, around £8.36 million per club or 14% of turnover could
make a big difference to a smaller club in meeting FFP, yet could actually be stopped at any time by a 14-6 majority
vote of the 20 club chairmen, and as of March 2012, the Premiership continues to lobby UEFA to request that these
payments can be offset against the FFP calculations.

2010–11 season
Transfer spending across Europe’s top five leagues during the 2010 summer transfer window was nearly 40 percent
down on the summer of 2009, though this was seen more as a result of the worsening global financial situation than
the introduction of FFP, and was also partly due to the 2010 World Cup, with players being more concerned with the
success of their country in the tournament than in moving clubs.
Although all of the traditional big English clubs spent more than £50 million on players,[56] overall spending in the
English Premier League was significantly down on the previous season, totalling a relatively modest £395 million. In
Spain, Barcelona's finances up to 30 June 2010 revealed that the club’s shareholder equity was dropped to negative
€59.109 million, from a positive of €20.844 million, despite awareness of the FFP rules.[57] Around the same time,
however, Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez told the club's general assembly that the net debt was reduced to
€244.6 million by 30 June 2010 as a result of an increase in revenue over the previous season, while the net
asset/equity was slightly increased to €219.7 million.
In Italy, where for some time there had been concern at the slow growth in football income and the lack of
competitiveness among clubs - partly due to the inequality in TV income - pressure by a number of clubs finally led
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 10

to the three biggest, Internazionale, Milan, and Juventus agreeing to end the long-standing system whereby clubs
negotiated their own TV rights. During the 2009/10 season, each had earned at least €100 million from major
broadcaster Mediaset,[58] and the introduction of the "collective sale" model of distributing TV income immediately
strengthened the smaller clubs by up to €10 million each more per season, leaving the big clubs much worse off; in
the case of Juventus, by around €43 million per year.[59] But the change, which left the Spanish league as the only
major league where clubs still negotiated separate deals, led to a much more entertaining and competitive season
with a number of clubs being in with a chance of winning the Scudetto. Despite the effect the change had by
reducing the spending power of his own club, Inter President Massimo Moratti indicated that he was actually looking
forward to the changes, saying, "Some thought that FFP was against owners like me, but I say that at last it means
that I can stop putting money into football every day. Inter are so expensive that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
I hope that FFP allows us to experience football in a different way."

January transfer window

In England, it was during the January transfer window that the most surprising business was done. Chelsea spent a
reported £50 million on Fernando Torres and €25 million on David Luiz from Liverpool and Benfica, respectively.
Despite Chelsea FC's intermediate holding company "Chelsea FC plc" making a sight improvement in its accounts
with a net loss of £67.7 million for the 2010–11 season, the effect of the increase in intangible assets led to a higher
cost in the future. As transfer fee was considered as a purchase of a capital, the real effect of transfer fee was the
amortisation of the transfer fee, which is proportionally to the contract length. For example, Torres's £50 million
transfer fee had to be amortised by about £9 million a season, which in the 2010–11 season amounted to only £4.5
million (due to half season). The club may lower the expense of amortisation by selling players and extending the
player contract.
Chelsea's transfer spending that season was the club’s biggest outlay since 2004 when they made losses of £87.8
million[60] at the start of an eight-year period during which they won a number of trophies. Arsène Wenger, whose
club Arsenal have been cited as an example of good financial governance by UEFA,[61] questioned Chelsea’s
behaviour after the signings, saying "Chelsea supported the financial fair play. In the morning they announce a £70
million loss, in the afternoon they buy £75 million worth of players. Where's the logic in that?"[62]
In Italy, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani criticised English teams for their transfer spending in the wake of the
big money moves for Torres and the £35 million spent by Liverpool on Andy Carroll as Torres' replacement;
"Everyone's talking about balancing the books, but then they spend like crazy people, Chelsea strengthened in an
amazing way spending €80 million, I just don't know where financial sense will end up."[63]
In response, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay insisted that the club were in "a strong position" to meet UEFA's
initiatives and were on course to halve their losses during the following financial year, having reduced their player’s
bonus scheme, negotiated new sponsorship deals, raised ticket prices and were able to count on additional TV
revenue from higher UEFA Champions League and SKY television rights.[64]
Following news of Manchester City's interim financial results showing another huge deficit, Michel Platini said he
had been given personal assurances from club management that they would abide by the new rules. UEFA’s Head of
Licensing Andrea Traverso also stated, "We are in talks with the club, they are aware of the rules and they probably
have a strategy to raise their income." Despite Chelsea and Manchester City’s losses, Premier League Chief
Executive Richard Scudamore said that he did not expect UEFA’s rules to lead to any English club being banned
from European competition. He stated; "I don't see any circumstances where any of our clubs could get near to
exclusion.... UEFA is too sensible, and it's not in its interests to do so. It's more about taking the steam out of the
system and acting as a speed bump rather than about barring clubs."[65]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 11

UEFA reminder
In all, English clubs spent £225 million during the January 2011 transfer window, prompting UEFA to issue a
reminder that the activity counted towards the 2012 to 2015 period over which they were only allowed to lose £39
million in total, and that it would affect the amount they could spend in later years. This was due to the principle of
amortisation - whereby a players transfer fee must be divided out between the number of years in his contract (i.e. a
player bought for £20m with a four-year contract must be represented on the club balance sheet as a £5m net
payment - or loss - over each of the four years of his contract) A UEFA statement said,
UEFA is aware of the recent transfer activity across Europe and is confident that clubs are increasingly
aware of the nature of its financial fair play regulations which require them to balance their books. It
must be noted, however, that the financial fair play rules do not prevent clubs from spending money on
transfers themselves but rather require them to balance their books at the end of the season. It is
therefore difficult to comment on any individual situation without knowing the long-term strategy of
each club. The clubs know the rules and also know that UEFA is fully committed to implementing them
with rigour.

"The last wake up call"

UEFA's club licensing report on top-flight clubs for 2010 (2009–10),[66][67] the last full financial year before the
regulations had been approved, showed annual losses in the main leagues topping €1.6 billion (£1.3 billion), a 36
percent rise on the previous year[68] although the German Bundesliga managed to produce an overall total gross
profit of €130 million (£109 million/$171 million) for the 2009 -10 season[69]
The survey of 665 clubs showed that 56 percent were in the red at the end of the 2010 financial year. Although
UEFA pointed to some improvements in the situation such as the 6.6 percent rise in overall income, a small drop in
the proportion of clubs' revenue going on players' wages, and an increase in the number of home-grown players in
the Champions League these were the worst statistics on record. UEFA's head of legal affairs, Alistair Bell, said,
"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 general secretary of European football's governing body Gianni Infantino said, "This is the last wake-up call.
This trend has to change very quickly to safeguard European football. We must end this negative spiral and gamble
for success, these losses cannot continue"[70]

Wider acceptance of FFP

In June 2011, the English Football League announced that clubs in the divisions lower than the Premiership had also
agreed in principle to adopt the FFP Regulations at their annual meeting. Debt in the lower leagues stood at around
£700 million, of which 80 percent applied to the second tier of English football, The Championship. FA chairman
David Bernstein described the Football League's announcement as "very encouraging."[71] Michel Platini also
commented; "We are very happy to see that Football League clubs, under the umbrella of the Football Association,
are again taking the initiative on good governance issues by introducing Financial Fair Play,"[72]
Later it was agreed by a majority of 21 to 3 that Championship losses were to be incrementally decreased season by
season with clubs able to make a maximum loss of £6m for the 2012-13 season and £5m for 2013-14, while from the
2014-15 season clubs will be allowed to make only a £3m loss and can expect heavy fines or a transfer embargo if
losses exceed £6m. From 2015-16 clubs can deliver a £2m operating loss on top of accepting £3m in investment
from their owner, which combines to make a £5m overall loss. Teams that win promotion to the Premier League
having failed to adhere to the rules must pay a ‘Fair Play Tax’ on their losses which ranges from 1% on the first
£100,000 to 100% on anything over £10m.[73]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 12

Barnsley director Don Rowling said "There are people that want to put money into their clubs to chase the dream but
they will have to face the nightmare at a later date. This will bring people into the game for the right reasons… now
we have a model that is about being sustainable and being clever rather than how big your wallet is at a particular
time" Acknowledging that some clubs would not abide by the rules, Rowling continued; "There is so much hype
now from people including supporters who want you to chase this dream of getting into the Premiership. You look at
the support base of some clubs and it is very, very difficult to realise their ambitions, that is why there are people
who want to buy a club and push it forward."
Tom Glick, CEO of Derby County, whose wage bill was expected to land the club with a £7m loss that season,
commented; "It is an indictment of the industry that we need to go to the length of regulations to try and tell us to be
sensible in the way we spend. This is transformational for our business, it allows all of our clubs to work towards a
business model that is sustainable. We are currently in a model that is not sustainable so we have clubs that go out of
business or teeter on the edge.
Leagues One and Two of English football also made efforts to curb the spending of clubs by introducing salary

2011–12 season
During the summer, Arsenal reluctantly sold two players, Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri, to Manchester City to avoid
losing them for nothing the following year when their contracts ended.[74] Both players refused to sign new
contracts, preferring to go to Manchester City where they could win considerably more cups. Following the
publication of Manchester City’s end of season financial results which showed Premier League record losses of £197
million, with players wages of £174 million, £21 million more than turnover (Chelsea's previous record in 2005 was
£141 million), Arsène Wenger questioned whether UEFA would go through with their threat to take action against
clubs who broke the rules, believing that Europe’s wealthy clubs would use legal means to fight any attempt to ban
them from European competition or from buying players. Wenger said,
We live in a world where any decision made is challenged. Europe (the European Union legal system)
has created that and we see how far Europe has gone. The authority of the legal affairs is challengeable
everywhere. UEFA want to create a situation where clubs with deficits cannot play in the Champions
League but I question whether they will be able to force it through. Will they have the legal power to
force that through today? I question that because you have as well Paris Saint-Germain and Málaga
[other high spending clubs] in other countries. Once they represent a force together, it will be difficult to
fight against.[75]
At the time, the Swiss club Sion were fighting a UEFA decision to ban them from the Europa League for fielding
ineligible players. Supporting Sion, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the ECA chairman, who is highly critical of English
clubs’ spending stated: "FIFA and UEFA need the clubs for a World Cup or European Championship but the clubs
don't need them."[76]

Manchester City naming rights

In July 2011, Manchester City announced that the City of Manchester Stadium was to be renamed the Etihad
Stadium after signing a ten-year rights deal with their existing shirt sponsor, the Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad
Airways.[77] The deal was originally reported to be worth £400 million over ten years, but is now thought to be for
rather less - probably around £340-350m over 10 years.[78][79] Even so, the deal still worked out as almost double the
previous all-time record of $300m (£187m) for the world-famous Madison Square Garden, and was several times the
£90m, 15-year sponsorship deal which Arsenal had agreed with another Middle Eastern airline, Emirates in 2006.
A number of football figures immediately questioned the validity of the deal because the chairman of Etihad
Airways, a company around a third the size of British Airways which has never made a profit since it was launched
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 13

in 2004 is Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyanthe, the half brother of Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour.
Despite the size of the figures, a Manchester City official pointed out that the sponsorship deal was not just for the
football stadium but for the whole 210 acre campus being developed around the ground. When complete, this will
comprise an expanded football academy and training ground, sports science centre, office and retail space and a
7,000-seat stadium for youth games.
As infrastructure, the cost of building the Etihad Campus does not count towards the FFP financial calculation
because it is not considered to be football-related, however any income generated will, and therefore will greatly
assist Manchester City in meeting the UEFA requirements and providing a vital new revenue stream which could
create millions a year for the club. Manchester City are in the unique position of having acres of vacant land adjacent
to their stadium and this potential was quickly recognised by Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak just weeks
after taking over City in September 2008. Some have speculated that City will maximise regeneration; football
finance expert Tom Cannon has stated that the plans are "probably the most exciting of any ground in Europe."
In August 2011, UEFA confirmed their intention to examine the deal to ensure it was not an attempt to unfairly
circumvent the FFP regulations.[80] The head of UEFA’s Financial Control Panel, Jean-Luc Dehaene, said they
would benchmark all deals to make sure they represented fair value. He said,
If we see clubs that are looking for loopholes we will act. It is not enough to say 'we've got a
sponsorship contract and that's OK' if the contract is out of line. You know where the problems are and
you know you will have to confirm them. But on the other hand they are all members of the ECA
(European Club Association) and if they don't follow the rules they won't have the support of the other
Arsene Wenger immediately demanded that UEFA should block the deal, believing that it was an attempt to
circumvent FFP; "It raises the real question about the credibility of Financial Fair Play. They give us the message
that they can get around it by doing what they want. The sponsorship cannot be doubled, tripled or quadrupled
because that means it is better if we leave everybody free. He (Michel Platini) is not stupid, he knows as well that
some clubs will try to get around that and at the moment I believe they are studying, behind closed doors, how they
can really check it. That is where Financial Fair Play is at stake".[81][82]
A number of other English clubs had already negotiated naming rights for when they had redeveloped their grounds,
including Bolton Wanderers (Reebok Stadium), Stoke City (Britannia Stadium), and Swansea City (Liberty
Stadium), however commentators expressed their surprise that Manchester City had been able to generate such a
large sum to re-brand an existing ground which they themselves did not even own. Liverpool's managing director,
Ian Ayre said that although naming rights were common for new stadiums, there was no precedent for the lucrative
re-branding of existing grounds; "It hasn't happened in Europe that a football club has renamed an existing stadium
and it's had real value. It was the City of Manchester Stadium or Eastlands for the last nine years and now it's going
to be called something different and someone has attached a huge amount of value to that. I find that odd because it
has never been done before. There is no benchmark that says you can rename your stadium and generate that
amount of value. Mike Ashley tried it at Newcastle but nobody called it Sports Direct@St James' Park and it
certainly didn't have that kind of value"[83] (In fact, the Newcastle deal had not involved the exchange of any money,
merely being a device to showcase existing sponsors)[84]
At the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona in early March 2012 it was revealed that UEFA had banned its senior
executives from talking about the Manchester City situation, for fear of prejudicing any future legal action against
the club. When asked to comment on the Manchester City losses of £197million over 2010-11, Philippe Rasmussen,
UEFA FFP manager stated; I am not authorised to talk about this. I am not allowed to talk about it.[85]
In March 2012, the Council of Europe produced a report which described the deal as an "improper transaction",[86]
recommending that; "UEFA should prohibit clubs from sponsoring themselves or using associated bodies to do
so…UEFA will have to take care to ensure their financial fair play rules are not circumvented, and that clubs should
not overpay for the rights they acquire. Clubs will no doubt try to supplement their income if possible. They could
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 14

for example call on sponsors to invest more so as to reduce or eliminate their deficits…care will have to be taken to
prevent any circumvention of the financial fair play rules in this way" Criticism in the report of Manchester United's
debt-financed model was ignored by the British press, as was the proposal that executives of clubs should not be
members of the game's governing bodies, which would have disqualified United's David Gill from his then role at
the Football Association.

UEFA drop threatened transfer embargo

On 24 November 2011, Arsène Wenger's fear that UEFA would ultimately back down from taking punitive action
against clubs when pressure was applied appeared at least partly justified when UEFA announced that following
legal advice, proposals to impose player transfer embargoes on clubs failing to meet the FFP rules had been dropped
amid fears that they may be legally unenforceable or might cause legal challenges from individual players.[87]
Lawyers advised UEFA that they may be open to restraint-of-trade civil actions brought by individual players who
had joined a particular club on the basis that they were involved in Champions League football, but were now
excluded from the competition because of the FFP regulations, which they themselves had not signed up to.

Reduced spending but further losses

At the beginning of 2012, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, faced with a number of injuries and players
absent at the African Cup of Nations admitted for the first time that because of FFP he had been told by senior club
management that he would be unable to buy any new players during the January transfer window unless he first
moved on existing players, and perhaps not even then.[88]
Premiership spending in the 2012 January transfer window was down 70% compared to the same period the previous
year. Across Europe a number of other clubs confirmed that they were not planning to buy players outright during
the transfer window, preferring to rely on loan deals. The 2012 Deloitte report stated, "Financial fair play has
definitely had an impact", while Arsène Wenger remarked; "it looks like economically the whole of Europe is being
a bit more cautious."
Shortly afterwards, however, the new Premier League accounts for the 2010-11 season - the first since FFP came
into being - showed that even with record annual revenues of £2.3bn, the 20 PL clubs lost a combined total of
£361m, a large proportion of which was due to Manchester City's £197m loss - the biggest in football history,[89] -
followed by Chelsea’s £68m loss. In the first 8 months since taking over, Liverpools’s new owners, the Fenway
Sports Group consortium, also posted a £49.6m loss. £35m of this loss was as a result of having scrapped earlier
plans by the former owners, Hicks & Gillett, to pursue a new Stanley Park stadium development in favour of
returning to an original scheme to enhance the club's existing Anfield stadium.
Commenting on the Premier League club losses, CEO Richard Scudamore refused to introduce break-even
legislation into Premier League rules, as the Bundesliga had done earlier and which, in complete contrast, were now
recording profits of nearly €2 billion (£1.7 billion) for 2010-11, with an overall profit of €52.5 million (£44 million).
The Bundesliga had also generated record revenues over the previous 12 months, bringing in almost €2 billion
(£1.67 million) and retained its position as the world’s best attended league, with an average attendance of 42,101.
Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert said, "The measures for an improved cost control approved by the clubs in August
2010 have borne fruit. The Bundesliga is as popular as never before with fans, sponsors and media partners."
According to the 2012 UEFA Licensing Report, among 665 UEFA clubs sampled in order to produce the report,
only 6 clubs that had competed in 2011-12 European competitions failed to meet the UEFA threshold of a maximum
€45 million aggregate net loss. This was reduced to 5 clubs by the time the group stages of the two UEFA
competitions commenced. There was an additional 7 clubs which did not compete in European competitions in
2011-12 that also failed to meet the UEFA €45 million net loss threshold. As many as 12 of these 13 clubs were
covering their high net losses with re-capitalisation or decrease in shareholder capital.[90] The 13 clubs that were
failing to meet the UEFA €45 million net loss threshold in 2012 therefore represented just under 2% of the 665
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 15

UEFA clubs sampled by the report.

Breaking the 2012 Licensing Report figures down further, among all of the 650 top division clubs across Europe,
53% (344 clubs) were exempt from FFP, while among the remaining 47% (306 clubs), about half (179 clubs or 28%)
made a profit. Of the 20% (127 clubs) that made a loss, for just under half of these (60 clubs or 9%) the net loss was
within the acceptable deviation (below €5M) permitted by UEFA FFP guidelines, while 8% (54 clubs) had a net loss
greater than the permissible €5 million threshold but still below the €45 million loss threshold where the club's
owner is required to cover the addition €40 net loss with an infusion of equity in order to satisfy UEFA FFP
However, according to the report, of the 54 clubs with a net loss between €45M and €5M in 2012, only 20 of these
clubs were receiving the necessary level of equity contributions from their owners to be able to satisfy UEFA FFP
compliance, thus a total of 47 (34+13) clubs were failing to meet FFP compliance at the time the UEFA Licensing
Report was published in 2012, which represents a passing rate of 92.8% (603 clubs across the 650 clubs sampled).
All of the biggest five leagues within the regions administered by UEFA (i.e., the English Premier League, the
Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga and the Portuguese Primeira Liga) had at least one club
which did not break-even (i.e., had losses exceeding €5M), with other clubs in leagues such as Ireland, Wales and
Finland exempt from FFP due to their small size.[92]

Italian clubs 'unable to comply with FFP'

On 29 March 2012 FIGC announced the annual report for Italian football,[93] which showed that only eight clubs
produced a profit during the 2010–11 season with an aggregate net loss of €428 million and negative equity of €204
million[94] Among the Serie A clubs, the total value of production dropped to €2.031 billion[95] with the cost of
production increased to €2.306 billion;[96] net asset (net equity) decreased to €150 million,[97] with equity ratio
dropped to a very low ratio of 5%. The total debt was also increased to €2.658 billion, up from €2.332 billion in
2009–10 season.[98]
The big Italian clubs continued to rely heavily on TV money from the Champions League, however one qualifying
place had been lost to the German Bundesliga for the 2011-12 season due to the recent poor performances of their
sides in the competition and there was now increasing concern at the stagnant growth of Serie A club's match-day
income, sponsorship and merchandising.[99] Certainly the Italian league appeared to be falling way behind their
major rivals; A decade previously, the total €0.9 billion revenue of Serie A had been not far behind the English
Premier League’s €1.1 billion, with the income of the Bundesliga, La Liga and French Ligue 1 trailing a long way
behind at around €500 million each. Now, while Premier League revenues had surged to €2.4 billion, the
Bundesliga and La Liga's earnings had now both caught up with Serie A at €1.5 billion with Ligue 1 not far behind
at €1.2 billion[100]
Particularly worrying was the state of Juventus', finances. Still recovering from the effects of the Italian match fixing
scandal which saw the club relegated, Juventus published the largest loss in their history at €95 million.[101]
President Andrea Agnelli, whose company Exor owned shares in the Italian motor company Fiat, and whose family
had long underwitten the club's spending, called the losses "intolerable," but said that they were necessary to keep
the club competitive. In 2005, Juventus’ earnings had been the third highest in Europe but since then their revenues
had actually declined by 33% (€75 million)[102] Having failed to qualify for that year’s Champion’s League and with
a €43 million drop in domestic TV income due to the new collective deal, wages over turnover had jumped from
67% to a massive 91%, way above UEFA’s recommended maximum of 70%. Despite launching a new share sale
aimed at raising €120 million of new money and changes to their financial model in order to meet FFP, Juventus
admitted that losses for the coming year were also likely to be high.[103]
Despite being the highest earning Italian club, AC Milan - also having a long tradition of big losses covered by their
owner - generated a €67.3 million deficit on earnings of €220 million in the year ending 31 December 2011 (for the
whole Milan Group, not just the football club) on top of a €69.8 loss for 2009/10.[104]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 16

Elsewhere at high spending Internazionale, who during the previous five years had lost a massive €665 million, the
club's management were now seriously considering how they were going to meet the new rules. Again, 20 years
previously Inter's revenues had actually exceeded that of Real Madrid but now totalled only around half that of their
huge Spanish rival. Having estimated losses of €60 million for the previous season the club actually went on to
record an €87 million loss, raising concerns that management were unable to control expenditure, at least in the short
term. Even during their "best" recent year, 2010, when they won the Champions League and sold players worth €72
million, Inter still made a €69 million loss.) One club official compared the state of football’s finances to the
sub-prime banking crisis but vowed, "We will be ready to meet all the standards set by UEFA and we are working on
various fronts. That means cutting costs and increasing revenues." Inter had already made a number of changes,
including a salary cap of €3 million for most first team players, a lower basic salary (with higher bonuses for
success), lower contracts for older players extending their contracts and the sale of expensive fringe players. Inter’s
sporting director Marco Branca admitted that the club could no longer afford the fees paid in the past, declaring, "We
have to organise our finances for the financial fair play rules in the next two years. We are looking for younger
players now with great talent who we can develop."
Despite their efforts to improve finances in the future, the ‘Big Three’ of Italian football accounted for 89% (€252
million) of the total Serie A loss of €285 million in 2010/11, and Massimo Moratti warned, "We are not yet able to
balance the books. I don’t know how Italian clubs will play in the Champions League in future, if UEFA’s fair play is
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani also admitted; "FFP hurts Italy. There will no longer be patrons that can
intervene. Until now people like Berlusconi and Moratti would be able to support us, but with the fair play it will no
longer be possible."[105]

European Union support for FFP

On 20 March 2012 it was announced that UEFA and the European Commission had signed a joint agreement
intended to prevent clubs using the EU legal system to challenge the validity of FFP, for example by claiming that it
conflicted with anti-competition legislation.[106] This was an important step because for clubs in countries which are
part of the EU, the European Court is the highest authority (above even a nation’s own supreme court) and the
ultimate channel by which FFP might be challenged legally.
The European Union - who acknowledged the unique "specificity of sport" in the Treaty of Lisbon - policy on sport
stated "good governance in sport is a condition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sport organisations".[107] The
vice-president of the EC and the Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia confirmed that the existing FFP
rules were both valid and in accordance with European legislation, saying; "I fully support the objectives of UEFA's
FFP rules as I believe it is essential for football clubs to have a solid financial foundation."
UEFA president Michel Platini said: "Our statement confirms that UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations are fully
consistent with EU State aid policy. The rules will protect the interests of individual clubs and players as well as
football in Europe as a whole"
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: "Let us be clear, this is not a new law … if anyone was thinking of
filing some sort of complaint saying FFP somehow restricts European competition law they would have to file it to
the Commission. This is a big milestone in the enforcement of the break-even principle"[108]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 17

2012–13 season
During the summer, Spanish side Malaga, bought by a wealthy benefactor in 2010, unexpectedly went into financial
meltdown with players wages left unpaid and several sold cheaply in order to keep the club afloat.[109] Since buying
Malaga, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani had invested almost €80 million in players, infrastructure and
developing a youth academy as part of a five-year plan to fast-track them to domestic and European glory. Despite
the team finishing fourth in La Liga ahead of schedule, earning a place in the Champions League, Al-Thani, a
member of Qatar’s royal family, abruptly announced that he’d had enough of the uneven distribution of TV revenue
in Spain and of criticism by the media, and was now no longer willing to bank-roll the club.[110]
In July, AC Milan sold their two star players, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to free-spending Paris
Saint-Germain for a combined €65 million (£51.4 m) in order to meet FFP.[111] Club owner Silvio Berlusconi
commented; "We did not want to sell Thiago Silva or Ibrahimovic and turned down the first offer. We then thought
about the Financial Fair Play…so we had to accept it with weeping hearts. It was impossible for us to turn down the
offer. It has saved us a lot of money in transfers and wages, meaning our finances are secure for many years to come.
We will save 150 million euros in two years."[112]
In July, there were renewed concerns that wealthy clubs might try to bypass FFP when Chelsea signed a
‘commercially confidential’ three-year deal under which Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom would become Chelsea's
‘global energy partner’. Some commentators pointed to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s 2005 sale of his
controlling stake in oil company Sibneft to Gazprom as possibly infringing UEFA rules defining ‘related-party
transactions’ as including those where clubs could potentially exert ‘significant influence’ over clubs' sponsors.
Earlier Paris St Germain, the French club owned by the Qatar government (who had recently been, and continued to
be the biggest spenders in world football), signed a similarly confidential sponsorship deal with the 50% state-owned
Qatar National Bank. Having earned almost €60 million after winning the previous season’s Champions League,
Chelsea had also signed new sponsorship deals with Audi, Sauber F1 and Delta Airlines, and it was felt that the deal
was unlikely to be scrutinised in the same way that the Manchester City – Etihad sponsorship after the Chelsea club
website also announced that Gazprom has signed an almost simultaneous agreement to also become an official
partner of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.
With Premier League spending on players continuing unabated during the summer transfer window, Liverpool FC
principal owner John Henry, who had previously joined Arsene Wenger in criticising Manchester City's deal with
Etihad Airlines as a means of circumnavigating FFP, proposed that the only way of preventing clubs from effectively
ignoring the rules would be for the Premier League to follow the example of the French and German football
authorities by incorporating the FFP legislation into the Premier League’s own rules. Such a move would allow
domestic sanctions to be taken over and above any measures taken by UEFA to curb excessive spending by clubs.
Henry said;
"The mandate of financial fair play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means... half of the clubs in the top
divisions within Europe are losing money and 20% are in straits of varying degrees... There are a lot of clubs within
the league that support financial fair play. We believe the league itself may have to adopt its own rules given that
clubs seem to be ignoring UEFA’s rules, which may be porous enough to enable clubs to say that the trend of huge
losses is positive and therefore be exempt from any meaningful sanctions."
At the Premier League Annual General Meeting, delegates from Manchester United and Arsenal spoke in favour of
the Liverpool proposal, as did West Ham United’s joint chairman David Gold, who commented; "I was involved in
bringing in the FFP rules in the Championship and at the time I thought should I get to the Premier League, I’ll lobby
for it. Even the big clubs now are saying we have to get to grips with costs." The proposal was not unanimously
agreed. Manchester City said that they would prefer to manage their business as they saw fit, while Fulham, who had
in the past enjoyed significant financial support from their owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, said that such a plan might
‘kill the dreams’ of others.
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 18

It was decided that various possible changes would be discussed over the coming months, with one possibility being
the full adoption of the FFP rules in to the Premier League’s own rules. Such a change would require a 14–6 majority
by club chairmen.

Beşiktaş–Bursaspor ban
On 30 May 2012, UEFA refused to issue a licence for the 2012–13 European season for Beşiktaş J.K. and
Bursaspor, and probationally suspended Beşiktaş for one more season if the club had qualified between 2013–14 to
2017–18 (five years). They were the first two clubs to be banned since UEFA renewed its UEFA Club Licensing
regulation in 2010. As FFP is only fully in force in 2013, both clubs violated UEFA Club Licensing instead of FFP.
However, UEFA did not specify which article(s) they failed. Article 49 stated that there should be no overdue
payables towards football clubs and article 50 stated that there should be no overdue payables towards employee and
social/tax authorities. Beşiktaş have been sued by numbers of clubs for overdue solidarity contribution and the club
used misunderstanding the rule as an excuse. However the club were also sued by Matteo Ferrari for overdue wages,
and news reports claimed that Manuel Fernandes had submitted a transfer request after the club failed to pay his
Moreover, according to the statutory filing in Turkish Public Disclosure System (Turkish: Kamuyu Aydınlatma
Platformu), Beşiktaş Futbol Yatırımları Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş (BİST: BJKAS [113]), the list portion of the club, had
a negative equity on 29 February 2012 for negative TL 286,256,446[114] The listed company also recorded a
successive net loss in consolidated accounts: TL 12,050,502 (2006–07), TL 1,345,510 (2007–08),[115] TL
29,417,643 (2008–09)[116] TL 48,442,389 (2009–10)[117] TL 120,079,175 (2010–11)[118] and most recently TL
84,932,418 in the first nine months of 2011–12 season. It was uncertain whether Beşiktaş lied on the acceptable
deficit of €45 million or not (after deducting irreverent income and cost). However, Beşiktaş certainly covered the
net loss by increasing debt, as well as breaking one or more financial indicators such as negative equity, thus
Beşiktaş would be banned if FFP was already in force.
It was reported that Bursaspor had overdue debt to Portsmouth F.C. (Collins Mbesuma).[119] Last but not the least,
the last Turkish Big-Three, Galatasaray, champion of 2011–12 Turkish Super League, had a negative equity and
aggregate net loss in 2010–11 and 2011–12 season (first 9 months). The club had to either cover the net loss by
equity contribution (instead of increasing debt) and/or reducing relevant break-even result to €5 million in the near
future in order to avoid sanction due to FFP. However, the incident of Beşiktaş also reflected the fragility of Turkish
football, as Beşiktaş were already the one of the leading clubs of the league and had qualified for European
competitions successively from 2002 to 2012. Galatasaray returned to UEFA Champions League in 2012–13 season
and this may put the club back on the right track.
Meanwhile another Turkish Super Lig club, Trabzonspor announced plans to greatly boost their annual income in
order to both meet FFP and to provide a guaranteed revenue stream to allow then to expand onto the European stage
when they received approval to build a 28 megawatt hydroelectric power plant in the hills above their Black Sea
home of Trabzon. The Financial Times estimated that following after an initial investment of between US$30–50
million, Trabzonspor would be able to count on an additional $10 million per year from the domestic sale of
electricity, before taking account running costs, financing and tax.[120]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 19

Massive new Premier League TV deal

Despite the worsening European financial crisis, during the same week that Spanish banks were forced to request a
further €100 billion in loans (considered a national bail-out in all but name by some commentators[121][122]) in mid
June 2012 the Premier League announced that the sale of the latest three-year broadcast rights package to BskyB and
BT had yielded a spectacular 71% increase over the previous deal to BskyB and ESPN.[123]
The new contract, covering the 2013–14 to 2015–16 seasons, was worth £3.018 bn, an increase of £1.25 bn over the
existing agreement, and guaranteed each top flight English club at least an additional £14 million per year; in
addition, once Internet and overseas rights plus the £180 million paid by the BBC for Match of the Day highlights
were included, Premiership clubs could count on a total of at least £5 billion in TV earnings by the time the deal
expired, well into the period that FFP was scheduled to come into full effect.[124]
Amid predictions that the huge windfall would spark a renewed wave of excessive transfer spending, the Chief
Executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, expressed his hope that the money would not merely find its
way into the pockets of players and their agents and that clubs would use the opportunity to reduce their debts and
bring their businesses onto a more secure financial footing, as demanded by FFP. He commented:
"We are entering a new era with financial fair play, I'm hoping it will get invested in things other than playing talent.
It should also be able to achieve sustainability. Priority number one is retain and attract top talent but there ought to
be a way of doing that while achieving sustainability. Some of it ought to be used to reduce losses"

Rangers PLC liquidation

Main article: Administration and liquidation of The Rangers Football Club Plc
During the close season, Scottish football was warned that it faced ‘financial armageddon’ following the liquidation
of the company that ran Rangers, one of the big two SPL clubs. After forcing Rangers into administration, HM
Revenue & Customs claimed that Rangers had been underpaying tax for at least 10 years following years of stagnant
growth in Scottish football revenue by using (then legal) Employment Benefit Trusts to pay staff.[125] When the
news broke, fans of fierce rivals Celtic complained that Rangers had effectively received an unfair advantage over
their own club and should be stripped of the numerous trophies they had won over the previous decade[126]
Rangers' financial position had already been so bad that it had been sold in May 2011 for the token price of £1 (one
pound sterling), however new owner Craig Whyte later admitted that he had borrowed £24.4 million against the next
four years worth of season tickets sales to offset an annual deficit of £10 million in running costs[127] This turned out
to be less than the whole story; Whyte, who had previously been banned from being a company director for 7 years
had actually used the money to finance his own takeover, and was subsequently banned for life from Scottish
On 5 April 2012, the administrators Duff and Phelps revealed that total debts could top £134m.[128] On top of the
£93m now being claimed by HMRC in various taxes, unpaid VAT and PAYE which has now been reduced to
approx 10 Million after the old company won the big tax case, there were various amounts owing to 276 separate
businesses, individuals and public bodies including £26.7m due to the ticket agency Ticketus, £7.7m to fans who had
purchased debentures in the club, £2.3m to twelve football clubs throughout Europe and liabilities to playing staff
and employees who temporarily accepted up to 75% reduced wages in order to keep the company afloat during
administration. Despite being taken over by another new owner, Charles Green, the company running the club were
finally consigned to eventual liquidation on 12 June 2012, and later attempts to relaunch Rangers as a SPL club were
frustrated by chairmen of the other clubs who voted against the transfer of the existing playing licence on the basis of
‘sporting integrity’. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster immediately warned that the decision would cost the game
about £16million in annual income due to the substantially lower gate receipts from the additional fans who
traditionally attended for glamorous Celtic / Rangers fixtures.[129]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 20

After Rangers received a conditional licence to play in the fourth tier of Scottish football, (Scottish Third Division)
on 27 July 2012, Rangers manager Ally McCoist bitterly accused the other chairmen of adopting "as hostile an
agenda as possible"[130] towards his club, though many others – including some of their own fans - maintained that
Rangers' downfall had been due entirely to their own financial recklessness.

First Financial Fair Play penalties

On 11 September 2012, UEFA announced that they had imposed the first penalties of the Financial Fair Play era.
The penalty was to temporarily withhold prize money from 23 clubs after they failed to comply with the rules. The
23 clubs penalised had until 15 October 2012 to prove that they had plans to pay a combined €30,000,000 in unpaid
player wages, transfer fees and social taxes for the period ending on 30 September 2012.[131]
It was announced later that 16 of the 23 clubs facing potential prize money withholding had nevertheless received
their prize money from European competition as a result of managing to settle their debts before the 30 September
2012 deadline.[132] Consequently, the following 16 clubs had a punishment reprieve after having prize money
initially withheld:
• FK Borac Banja Luka, FK Sarajevo and FK Zeljeznicar (Bosnia)
• CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria)
• Maccabi Netanya (Israel)
• FK Shkendija 79 (Macedonia)
• Floriana (Malta)
• Buducnost Podgorica and Rudar Pjevlja (Montenegro)
• Ruch Chorzow (Poland)
• Sporting Clube de Portugal (Portugal)
• Vaslui (Romania)
• Rubin Kazan (Russia)
• Atletico Madrid (Spain)
• Eskisehirspor and Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Since the original 11 September action by UEFA, two other clubs faced action as their situation with overdue
payments had deteriorated between June and September 2012. They were Lech Poznan of Poland and Arsenal Kyiv
of Ukraine.
On 21 December 2012, the first punishments of UEFA Financial Fair Play were handed out to eight clubs in total.
Vojvodina and Arsenal Kyiv avoided a ban but both were fined with Vojvodina fined €10,000 and Arsenal Kyiv
fined €45,000 but facing an extra €30,000 fine if they failed to prove they had no outstanding payments by 31
March 2013. Hajduk Split, Osijek, Rapid Bucharest, Dinamo Bucharest and Partizan Belgrade faced a ban from
UEFA club competition (for the next season that they managed to qualify to participate) unless they could prove that
they had paid their outstanding payments by 31 March 2013. The ban would be applicable for the next three seasons
(i.e. 2013-14, 2014–15, 2015–16). Osijek, Dinamo Bucharest and Rapid Bucharest were fined €100,000 each.
Hajduk Split were fined €40,000 but would be fined an extra €40,000 if they failed to prove they had no outstanding
payments by 31 March 2013.
Rapid Bucharest were the only club that missed the 31 March 2013 deadline and as a result have been handed a one
season ban from European competition (applicable only for the next European competition they qualify for)[133]
However they have been relegated to the Romanian Liga II for the 2013-14 season as they failed to obtain a license
for the 2013-14 Liga I due to accumulated debt.
Malaga have been handed the biggest punishment so far, resulting in the club being banned for one year from UEFA
competition, applicable for the next four seasons (i.e. 2013-14, 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17) providing that a
club appeal against the ban fails. Malaga also faced another one-year ban during the applicable four seasons if they
failed to prove they had no outstanding payments by 31 March 2013, as well as being fined €300,000.[134] However
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 21

Malaga avoided a two season ban as they met the 31 March 2013 deadline[135]
The case against Lech Poznan and Sporting was dropped by UEFA, who also released the prize money they withheld
from all clubs that were punished or avoided punishment.

French government inquiry on FFP

It was announced that the French government would look into the impact of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules on the
French league and how it would affect clubs with Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco coming under the spotlight,
particularly Paris St. Germain with their heavy spending due to Qatari ownership. The Cultural Affairs, Education
and Sport Commission set up the inquiry with Thierry Braillard, the deputy for the Rhone region, given the task to
lead the inquiry. Braillard stated:
"The aim of this inquiry is to talk to people at UEFA about Financial Fair Play, bearing in mind that, for the 2012-13
season, the cumulative deficit of professional clubs in France was €250 million. The commission will focus in
particular on the financing of clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco by Qatari or Russian investors, and the
fairness of that in relation to their opponents in domestic competition."
The inquiry would last up to four months and would also look at how the preparations for Euro 2016 would be

UEFA warning on inflated sponsorship

In early February UEFA reminded clubs that they would be expected to prove that they were not trying to bypass
FFP by entering into inflated sponsorship deals with parties closely associated with their owners.[137] The warning
came in the wake of an announcement that Paris Saint-Germain had completed a deal with the Qatar Tourist
Authority worth €200million ($262m) per year until 2016. As with the Manchester City agreement with Etihad
Airlines, the news was met with considerable criticism in view of the ownership of the club by members of the
Qatari royal family, however PSG President Nasser al-Khelaifi refused to accept that the club was doing anything
wrong, telling L'Equipe; "We have been building an international brand. This deal is a strong symbol. Qatar have
benefited a lot from their investments in PSG…it's necessary to become one of the great European clubs. Other clubs
have invested for 20 years. We have been there for a year and a half and now we must stop pouring money? It would
be unfair."[138]
The most recent UEFA Licensing Report confirmed that despite rising revenues, club losses had almost trebled
between 2007 - 2011 from £515million to £1.45billion, with player’s wages increasing 38%.[139] A separate
simulation exercise based on the three years between 2008 and 2011 showed that 46 clubs would have failed the
break-even test had FFP applied then, over which 20 made losses of more than the acceptable total of €45m. Two
were believed to be Chelsea and Manchester City.[140] City's most recent results showed another large loss of
£97.9m and while Chelsea posted their first profit of the Roman Abramovich era this was largely due to one-off
share dividends and winning the Champions League in 2011-12; the club are expected to go back into the red over
the 2012-13 season.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: "Everyone, including PSG, know they have to demonstrate (that the
sponsorship deals) are without cheating and that will be submitted to panels. We have a regulation which speaks
about fair value of deals and the fact that a related party cannot just inject money into a club directly or
indirectly."[141] He confirmed that UEFA’s 15 strong team of accountants (the Club Financial Control Body) would
begin analysing figures during the spring of 2014 for the years 2011-12 and 2012–13, the first period to be
monitored under the new break-even regime.
Gianni Infantino said that there were signs that rules already in force to ensure clubs paid their bills on time and the
looming enforcement of the break-even rule were having an effect. "Overdue payables" rules had succeeded in
reducing the amount of overdue debt by 68% to €18.3m since June 2011, there had been a tiny fall in the gap
between revenue and expenses (0.1% to 12.7%) and attendances had held up well across European football despite
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 22

the continuing financial crisis.

Premier League agree new financial regulations

On 7 February 2013, the FA Premier League in England agreed to new financial regulations in the wake of the big
upcoming new TV deal and pressure from both the Government and supporters.[142][143] From the 2013-14 season,
Premier League clubs cannot make a loss of more than £105 million over a three season period (including 2013-14,
2014–15 and 2015–16) which is an average of £35 million per year. Any club that loses more than £105 million in
that time faces possible point deductions while clubs making any loss up to the £105 million limit will come under
tighter financial scrutiny from the Premier League. Clubs are restricted on how much of the Premier League Central
Funds they receive that they can spend on player wages. The limit is £4 million in 2013-14, £8 million in 2014-15
and £12 million in 2015-16. However this only applies to clubs that have a wage bill higher than £52 million per
year in 2013-14, £56 million in 2014-15 and £60 million in 2015-16.[144]
On 11 April 2013, these new rules were ratified at a summit in London and added to the Premier League rulebook.
14 of the 20 clubs voted in favour, 5 voted against while Swansea City were the only club to abstain altogether.

Legal Challenge
In early May 2013 Jean Louis-Dupont, the lawyer who in 1995 won the ground-breaking Bosman ruling against the
EU and UEFA, launched a legal challenge against the FFP rules on that grounds that it might restrict the income of
his client, a Belgian registered football agent named Daniel Striani.[145] The earlier case had been brought by a
Belgian player, Jean-Marc Bosman on the basis that the refusal of his former club to allow him to move to a new
club when his playing contract expired amounted to an unlawful restriction on his freedom of movement,
subsequently making it much easier for players in similar situations to move between clubs. A later statement by
Striani, who has represented a number of Premier League players claimed that: "The rules will lead to restrictions in
terms of investment, will diminish the number of player transfers that take place and will also bring down the
revenues of player agents…This rule also impacts upon the right to free movement of capital, to free movement of
workers and to the free availability of services. Financial fair play will further increase the gap between big clubs
and smaller teams. I mainly work with the latter, hence my concerns. I don't know whether other agents share my
opinion or whether clubs will follow my example, but I'm confident about the outcome."[146]
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino dismissed Dupont's claim, saying; "We are not worried about it. First,
because we have the best lawyers working for us but also because FFP has been agreed by all of the clubs,
associations and the European Commission. These haven't been imposed."
It is believed that any final judgement may be as long as five years, however Daniel Geey, a competition and football
law specialist at Field Fisher Waterhouse, commented: "This is significant. The EC has always said in the
background that it supports the objectives of FFP. Now it must undertake an objective assessment of whether, among
other things, FFP is anti-competitive. The complaint will either be upheld, leading the Commission into negotiations
with UEFA and possible formal proceedings or be rejected, which could lead to a further court challenge. Either way
this won't be a quick process and in the meantime UEFA will make licensing decisions based on the FFP break-even
On Tuesday 20 May 2014 it was announced that the EC had rejected the complaint and did not intend to investigate
it any further. The EC argued that the financial fair play rules apply to clubs, not to players’ agents, and therefore
Striani had no legitimate interest in complaining about them.[147]
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 23

2013–14 season
Early in the close season French club AS Monaco, recently bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, spent
£51m on Radamel Falcao in addition to Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez for a further £60m. Manchester City
meanwhile also spent close to 50m in June 2013 on two players: Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, and despite their
elevation to the position of the world's highest paid sport team - with an average first-team squad member wage of
£100,764 per week, more than £7,000 higher than that of the second-placed team, American baseball side LA
Dodgers[148] - Manchester City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano said that they were "not worried" by FFP and were
catching up "very fast" with their rivals in terms of revenue. He said that the club were implementing a new playing
structure under director of football Txiki Begiristain and pointed to the club's recent rise to number 7 in the Deloitte
Rich List.[149]
On 17 June it was announced that former Manchester United chief executive David Gill had been appointed
Chairman of UEFA’s influential Club Licensing Committee (CLC), the body which decides which clubs are entitled
to licenses to play in Europe, (on 25 June the committee banned leading Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas, who
had been due to play Champions League and Europa League football for involvement in match fixing) and which
will be responsible for recommending sanctions against any clubs who fail to comply with FFP.[150] Although the
CLC has no involvement in assessing club accounts, the appointment was queried by some[151] because Gill, a strong
advocate of FFP was due to remain a Manchester United Director, leading to concerns about a lack of impartiality in
the event of any English clubs exceeding the £38m allowable losses at the end of the first accounting period.
On 20 September it was announced that UEFA had withheld the prize money of six clubs for outstanding payments
that hadn't been paid. Astra Ploiesti (Romania), Hajduk Split (Croatia), Metalurg Donetsk (Ukraine), Skonto
(Latvia), Trabzonspor (Turkey) and Zrinjski (Bosnia) were all deemed guilty. The action was taken based on
information supplied on 30 June to UEFA[152] It was announced on 21 November 2013 that Metalurg Donetsk and
Skonto had been referred to the UEFA Club Financial Control Body as well as Pandurii Targu Jiu (Romania),
Petrolul Ploiesti (Romania), Slask Wroclaw (Poland) and Vitoria (Portugal). UEFA also released the prize money to
the six clubs that had their prize money initially withheld.[153] Five of the six clubs referred to the UEFA Club
Financial Control Body received punishment on 20 December 2013. Metalurg Donetsk, Petrolul Ploiesti and Skonto
will be banned for the next season that they qualify for Europe between the 2014-15 and 2016-17 season unless they
can prove that they have paid the money they owe by 31 January 2014. Five of the six clubs were fined including
Metalurg Donetsk (€80,000), Petrolul Ploiesti (€50,000), Pandurii Targu Jiu (€40,000), Skonto (€40,000) and Slask
Wroclaw (€20,000). Vitoria of Portugal avoided punishment[154]
Across all of the 'big five' top divisions of Europe, gross spending by clubs was again significantly higher that during
the previous year. Partly as a result of the new TV deal, Premier League clubs spent a record £630m – a 29%
increase on the equivalent figure of £490m in 2012, and £130m more than the previous record set in 2008. The next
highest spenders were Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A, each with a gross spend of £335m, although both leagues
actually generated net surpluses as a result of player trading. They were followed by France's Ligue 1 with £315m
and the German Bundesliga with £230m.

Plans to reduce spending at Anzhi Makhachkala

From 2011 to 2013, Anzhi Makhachkala were big spenders since Suleyman Kerimov bought the club outright on 18
January 2011. The resulting influx of cash meant that Anzhi were able to sign big name players on big wages such as
Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o for €28m and a world record salary of €20.5m per year. However despite this
spending, Anzhi failed to win a single major trophy either in Russia or abroad meaning that Kerimov, frustrated by
this lack of success, decided to reduce his investment in the club which meant that some of Anzhi's top players were
sold including Willian and Eto'o to Chelsea. The opening of an academy in Anzhi's home region of Dagestan on 10
October 2012 is further evidence to suggest that Anzhi are looking towards a more sustainable long-term financial
plan, following in the footsteps of other big spending clubs of recent years who are looking for a more long-term
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 24

financial plan such as Chelsea, who are generally looking more to young talent and Manchester City, who are
looking to have a training complex for youth (as well as senior) players opened by the start of the 2014-15 season
despite spending nearly £100m on four players during the summer of 2013.

Wages up but losses down

On Friday 30 August, UEFA made an announcement that while wages had gone up by 6.5% in the latest financial
year, losses had gone down thanks to a 6.9% increase in revenue by clubs. Europe's first division clubs lost €1.066
billion compared to €1.7 billion the previous year. UEFA also cited FFP as having been instrumental in greatly
decreasing the amount of money clubs owed each other; whereas in 2011 clubs had €57 million (£48 million) in
overdue payables, with 10 clubs being referred for sanctioning, in 2013 only €9 million (£7.7 million) was overdue
and no clubs were referred. These findings seem to indicate that while clubs are looking to be more sustainable and
decrease their debt, at the same time they are also looking to maximise their revenue whatever way they can
(including some unusual methods of revenue making such as the hydro-electric plant built by Trabzonspor) so that
they can continue with a high level of spending without getting into more debt.
Despite the improving figures, UEFA revealed that five top clubs were still at serious risk of being found guilty of
breaching the FFP rules after the first accounting period in the Spring of 2014, and warned that it was likely that
legal action lay ahead. Michel Platini said; "The devil is in the detail and we’re trying to get to grips with this devil.
We’ve had discussions with clubs for years, but the clubs have lots of lawyers, they’re very competent people and
they believe they’re in the right. Our committees will decide in May next year to check on their goodwill and validity
and this will lead to decisions that will end up in court eventually."[155]
The leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had been hired to probe any clubs suspected as having
failed FFP. On 30th August the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne admitted that it was “bracing for a
flurry of cases” relating to highly complex disputes over UEFA’s Break Even Rule.[156] Referring to the cases
involving Malaga, Bursaspor and Besiktas, Matthieu Reeb, the Secretary General of the CAS told reporters "We've
already had cases concerning clubs that had overdue payments or debts which they did not pay on time. The most
difficult cases will be when we have to look at where the budget must be respected. It's a new challenge for us. We
can expect trucks full of folders and papers!"[157]

"'Fair' financial fair play & 'dodgy' financial fair play'"

On 31 December 2013 Chelsea announced a loss of £49.4m for the year ended 30 June 2013.[158] However the club
claimed that a record turnover of £255.8m for the company as a whole for the same period, combined with the
previous year’s profit of £1.4m would mean that they would fall within the criteria set by FFP. Chairman Bruce Buck
said that: "A long-term objective was financial sustainability, and the subsequent implementation of Financial Fair
Play by UEFA and by the Premier League has brought that to the top of the agenda for football clubs. We are
pleased therefore that we will meet the stipulations set down by UEFA in their first assessment period. By our own
analysis, we are progressing from a commercial viewpoint as well as continuing to add trophies to our collection,
which we never lose sight of as our most important goal."[159]
But when Manchester City revealed their own set of accounts for the same period on 29 January 2014, also claiming
to have met the FFP break-even rule, there were concerns that they would come under intense scrutiny from the
UEFA Club Financial Control Body.[160][161] The figures showed annual turnover up by almost £40m at £271m for
2012-13, and the club claimed that this combined with the permitted subtraction of pre-2010 wages and amounts
spent on infrastructure and training facilities would bring their losses down to approximately £46.95m, just within
the allowable threshold.
However, almost £47m of the claimed turnover was as a result of two specific items – the sale of player image rights
for £24.5m and the sale of intellectual property rights for another £22.45m – both to unidentified external parties
which were neither named by the club or cited in the accounts (press reports have named City part-owned New York
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 25

City FC[162][163]).The sale of player image rights to an external company has never been attempted by a football club
before, since they are normally considered as an integral part of their own income, part of which is retained by the
player and separated from his salary for tax reasons. For example, when the club tried unsuccessfully to buy Kaka
from Milan in January 2009, lucrative image rights were offered to the player as a major incentive in agreeing to
sign. In addition, the club will have to prove that whichever organisation bought its intellectual property rights
received fair value for their investment, and that the figure has not been merely agreed with a related party as a
device to help overcome the break even principle.
Other payments between separate parts of the club – i.e. the sale of ‘intangible assets’ totaling £11.5m to City
Football Marketing, and another totaling £10.87m with another subsidiary, City Football Services – were also
thought likely to be considered examples of the club simply moving money between different parts of the clubs
constituent parts, since Manchester City's six main board members – Khaldoon al-Mubarak, Mohamed al-Mazrouei,
Simon Pearce, Martin Edelman, John Macbeath and Alberto Galassi – also sit on the boards of the two subsidiaries
involved. Chelsea Manager José Mourinho questioned the validity of the Manchester city accounts, claiming that;
"Some clubs are feeling financial fair play as 'fair' financial fair play and others are feeling it as 'dodgy' financial fair
Liverpool’s financial results up to the end of May 2013 showed losses of £49.8m and a further £40.5m over the
previous 10 months. Between 2011 and 2013 the club had lost over £90m, however it was believed that a large
proportion was related to debt arising from the aborted attempts to build a new stadium. It was hoped that the club
would be able to write off an interest free loan it received from their owners, Fenway Sports Group, to repay a £38m
loan from former owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, as infrastructure costs.[165]

Rule changes
In 2012 a new potential sanction was introduced allowing a club to be retrospectively stripped of a European title if
they were later found to have overspent in the process of winning it. The 2014 UEFA FFP rulebook, published in
late January also included two significant rule changes. One allows clubs to ‘plea bargain’ sanctions imposed to
punish them overspending. The second change provides clubs with the right to challenge plea bargains if they feel
they have been negatively affected by the outcome.[166] One possible scenario would be that a club finishing just
outside their league’s European competition places could claim that a club finishing above them who had overspent
had unfairly deprived them of the opportunity of playing in lucrative European competition.
In early March it was also announced that only clubs taking part in European competition during the 2013-14 season
will be initially assessed for compliance with the break even rule; the remaining clubs would not be assessed until
the following autumn.

In late February 2014 UEFA announced that of the 237 clubs whose accounts were being assessed for compliance
with the break even rule over the two year monitoring period, 76 were being investigated and might later face
sanctions.[167] Though not identifying any clubs involved, UEFA revealed that the total deficit among the clubs, who
had all played in European competition during the 2013-14 season, amounted to €600 ($828 million). UEFA also
revealed that while overall wages in European football had risen by 59% over the past five years, the overall income
generated by the clubs had increased by only 42%.
The 76 clubs had been asked to provide the CFCB with updated financial information, and those involved in the
more serious cases would be identified in April when the second, judging chamber of the CFCB would decide on
and announce the first sanctions. It was believed that many of the infringements would be found to be quite minor
and action would eventually be dropped.
All verdicts would be published by June ahead of the qualifying round draws for the 2014–15 Champions League
and Europa League competitions, though several clubs were expected to challenge their sanctions at the Court of
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 26

Arbitration for Sport before the group stage draws in late August. UEFA legal director Alasdair Bell said; "July and
August could be a busy time. We are not afraid of them being contested." UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino
commented; "UEFA is taking the lead in order to protect European football from greed, from reckless spending,
from financial insanity".[168]
On Monday 28 April 2014 it was revealed that the initial list of clubs thought to be in danger of failing the
break-even rule had been whittled down to less than 20 clubs and that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain
were among them. It was also disclosed that UEFA had rejected both club's arguments that the sponsorship deals and
other declared income streams were legitimate, and that talks were ongoing around potential plea bargains on
On 16 May 2014, UEFA announced that they agreed to settlements with nine clubs after Financial Fair Play
investigations, with sanctions ranging from break-even targets (e.g., limit of wage bill), sporting measures (e.g., limit
of squad size in UEFA club competitions), and financial contribution (e.g., fines). The nine clubs were:
• Anzhi Makhachkala
• Bursaspor
• Galatasaray
• Levski Sofia
• Manchester City
• Paris Saint-Germain
• Rubin Kazan
• Trabzonspor
• Zenit Saint Petersburg

[1] BBC News Website 15 September 2009
[2] BBC News Website 2 March 2010
[3] http:/ / www. uefa. com/ MultimediaFiles/ Download/ EuroExperience/ uefaorg/ Publications/ 01/ 59/ 87/ 45/ 1598745_DOWNLOAD. pdf
[4] http:/ / www. financialfairplay. com
[5] The House of commons report was citing research done on behalf of the Wall Street Journal
[6] The Guardian - 3 June 2009
[7] http:/ / www. whufc. com/ staticFiles/ a7/ 6d/ 0,,12562~159143,00. pdf
[8] http:/ / www. evertonfc. com/ assets/ _files/ documents/ feb_11/ efc__1297183974_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_201. pdf
[9] http:/ / www. uhy-uk. com/ assets/ medi/ new/ PFC%20-%20Report%20to%20creditors%20Adobe%207. pdf
[10] Sports News - 26 February 2010
[11] BBC News - 10 September 2006
[12] http:/ / www. acmilan. com/ uploads/ club/ bilancio2010/ pdf/ Bilancio_Gruppo_Milan_10. pdf
[13] http:/ / www. sslazio. it/ images/ stories/ documenti/ pdf/ investor_relator/ Bilancio%20S. S. %20Lazio%2030-06-2011. pdf
[14] The Swiss Ramble 7 December 2011
[15] SS Lazio financial report and accounts on 30 June 2009 (http:/ / www. sslazio. it/ images/ stories/ documenti/ pdf/ investor_relator/
PROGETTO BILANCIO 30-06-09. pdf)
[16] http:/ / www. asroma. it/ pdf/ 2010_-10-13_relazione_finanziaria_annuale_al_30_giugno_2010. pdf
[17] http:/ / www. asroma. it/ pdf/ 2011_-_10_-_06_progetto_di_bilancio_consolidato_al_30_giugno_2011. pdf
[18] 27 December 2011
[19] http:/ / www. realmadrid. com/ StaticFiles/ RealMadrid/ img/ pdf/ InformeRm08_09. pdf
[20] http:/ / www. realmadrid. com/ StaticFiles/ RealMadrid/ img/ pdf/ InformeRm09_10. pdf
[21] BBC News Website - 20 September 2009
[22] http:/ / arxiu. fcbarcelona. cat/ web/ downloads/ sala_premsa/ memoria/ 2009/ memoria_barca_economica_eng. pdf
[23] However, the net asset value may under-valued or over-valued as the intangible asset, may be over or under valued. For example, youth
product does not have an asset value as there is no formation cost of that capital, such as a transfer fee; the asset value would also be amortized
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 27

which the residual value of the contract in accounting did not reflect the true market value; lastly, there is a lack of protocol to make
impairment on flops. The residual contract value may be greater than the market value as the transfer market always had fluctuation
[24] The Guardian
[25] Yahoo news 12 April 2012
[26] Daily Telegraph 19 November 2008
[27] The Swiss Ramble 10 May 2011
[28] http:/ / www. actusnews. com/ documents/ ACTUS-0-3288-OL-DDR-0809-GB. pdf
[29] Daily Mail 9 October 2008
[30] Daily Telegraph 17 November 2004
[31] http:/ / eng. borussia-aktie. de/ pdf/ gb/ BVB-AR-2009. pdf
[32] Swiss Ramble - 8 December 2010
[33] NL Planet
[34] Reuters - 14 October 2010
[35] The Swiss Ramble - 28 July 11
[36] - 5 April 2012
[37] PricewaterhouseCoopers 21st Annual Financial Review of Scottish Football (August 2010)
[38] The Guardian 19 August 2010
[39] Deloitte Football Money League February 2009
[40] Daily Telegraph 27 January 2010
[41] The Guardian - 3 November November 2010
[42] http:/ / www. parliament. uk - 'Football Governance
[43] BBC News Website 17 June 2010
[44] http:/ / www. parliament. uk - 'Football Governance'
[45] Daily Mail - 19 May 2012
[46] Daily Telegraph 7 August 2009
[47] Metro 26 August 2011
[48] – 7 June 2012
[49] Daily Mail - 26/09/11
[50] Thefootballfront - 29 July 2011
[51] Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
[52] BBC News - 27 October 2011
[53] BBC News - 7 December 2011
[54] Guardian 5 February 2013
[55] BBC News Website 26/09/11
[56] BBC News Business 1 September 2010
[57] http:/ / arxiu. fcbarcelona. cat/ web/ downloads/ pdf/ 2010-11/ Memoria_Club_09-10_CASTE_BAIXA. pdf
[58] Anversred
[59] Swiss Ramble 6 October 2011
[60] The Independent - 31 January 2005
[61] BBC News Website 11 January 2011
[62] BBC News Website 11 February 2011
[63] BBC News Website 1 February 2011
[64] Daily Telegraph 1 February 2011
[65] BBC News Website 17 January 2011
[66] http:/ / www. uefa. org/ protecting-the-game/ club-licensing-and-financial-fair-play/ news/ newsid=1744182. html
[67] http:/ / www. uefa. com/ MultimediaFiles/ Download/ Tech/ uefaorg/ General/ 01/ 74/ 41/ 25/ 1744125_DOWNLOAD. pdf
[68] The Independent - 25 January 2012
[69] Insideworld football - 26 Jan 2012
[70] BBC News Website - 25 January 2012
[71] BBC News Website 16 August 2011
[72] Sky News 4 June 2011
[73] Daily Mail - 24 April 2012
[74] http:/ / www. caughtoffside. com 17 August 2011
[75] News 24 - 23rd November 2011
[76] - 26 August 2011
[77] Daily Mail 8 July 2011
[79] The Guardian – 19 May 2012
[80] BBC News Website 16 August 2010
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 28

[81] The Guardian - 13 July 2011

[82] BBC News - 13 July 2011
[83] The Guardian - 16 July 2011
[84] Grant Thorton Focus on Football Finance - March 2012
[85] Mailonline - 10 March 2012
[86] 7 March 2012 – Daily Mail
[87] - 24 November 2011
[88] The Times - 6 January
[89] Daily Telegraph - 4 May 2012
[90] Report 2010, page 10)
[91] Report 2010, page 114
[92] Report 2010, page 115
[93] http:/ / www. figc. it/ it/ 204/ 31532/ 2012/ 03/ News. shtml
[94] Report (http:/ / www. figc. it/ other/ RC2012_Completo_LowRes. pdf) page 15
[95] Page 78
[96] Page 85
[97] Page 89
[98] Page 92
[99] Swiss Ramble - 6 October 2011
[100] The Swiss Ramble - 4 December 2011
[102] The Swiss Ramble - 5 January 2012
[103] Swiss Ramble - 5 January 2012
[104] Swiss Ramble 29 May 2012
[105] Swiss Ramble. 5/09/12
[106] The Daily Mail - 21 March 2012
[107] The Seventh Report of Session (2010–12) House of Commons (Culture, Media and Sport & Committee)
[108] The Independent - 21 March 2012
[109] Elcentrocampista 8 August 2012
[110] Liverpool Echo 11 August 2011
[111] - 1 Aug 2012
[112] Telegraph 16 July
[113] http:/ / www. borsaistanbul. com/ companydetails?Kod=BJKAS
[114] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20120417045541/ http:/ / www. kap. gov. tr/ yay/ Download/ Bildirim/ Ek/ 67482. pdf
[115] http:/ / www. kap. gov. tr/ yay/ Download/ Bildirim/ Ek/ 19883. pdf
[116] http:/ / www. kap. gov. tr/ yay/ Download/ Bildirim/ Ek/ 29614. pdf
[117] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20110728040413/ http:/ / www. kap. gov. tr/ yay/ Download/ Bildirim/ Ek/ 43034. pdf
[118] http:/ / www. kap. gov. tr/ yay/ Download/ Bildirim/ Ek/ 58391. pdf
[119] http:/ / www. goal. com/ en-gb/ news/ 2931/ go-global/ 2012/ 05/ 30/ 3136602/
[120] Financial Times 23 August 2012
[121] Guardian Business 11 June 2012
[122] Salt Lake Tribune - 16 June 2012
[123] BBC 14 June
[124] BBC - 13 June 2012
[125] BBC News - 14 February 2012
[126] Channel 4 News - 13 March 2012
[127] Daily Record - 31 January 2012
[128] Duff & Phelps administrator's report published 5 April 2012
[129] Daily Mail - 13 July 2012
[130] BBC Scotland 28 July 2012
[131] http:/ / www. dailystar. com. lb/ Sports/ Football/ 2012/ Oct-05/ 190196-uefa-to-decide-next-month-on-23-clubs-in-financial-difficulty.
[132] http:/ / www. goal. com/ en-india/ news/ 4550/ europe/ 2012/ 11/ 30/ 3567947/ uefa-releases-withheld-prize-money-to-16-clubs
[133] http:/ / www. bbc. co. uk/ sport/ 0/ football/ 22627036
[134] http:/ / www. uefa. org/ protecting-the-game/ club-licensing-and-financial-fair-play/ news/ newsid=1908817. html
[135] http:/ / www. bbc. co. uk/ sport/ 0/ football/ 22573330
[136] http:/ / soccernet. espn. go. com/ news/ story/ _/ id/ 1249585/ inquiry-to-look-at-ffp-impact-on-france?cc=5739#
[137] Daily Telegraph - 4 February 2013
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations 29

[138] L'Equipe - 29th Jap 2013

[139] Daily Mail 4 February 2013
[140] Guardian 4 Feb
[141] Daily Mail - 4 February 2013
[142] http:/ / www. premierleague. com/ en-gb/ news/ news/ 2012-13/ feb/ premier-league-clubs-agree-to-new-financial-rules. html
[143] http:/ / www. bbc. co. uk/ sport/ 0/ football/ 21238173
[144] http:/ / www. premierleague. com/ en-gb/ news/ news/ 2012-13/ feb/ premier-league-new-financial-rules-explained. html
[145] Guardian 6 May 2013
[146] Goal.Com 9 May
[147] The Independent 20/05/14
[148] BBC Sports News Website 12/06/13
[149] The Independent 24 May 2013
[150] BBC Sport 18/06/13
[151] Daily Mail 18 June 2013
[152] http:/ / uk. eurosport. yahoo. com/ news/ football-six-clubs-prizemoney-withheld-outstanding-payments-191050724--sow. html
[153] http:/ / www. uefa. org/ protecting-the-game/ club-licensing-and-financial-fair-play/ news/ newsid=2025264. html
[154] http:/ / www. uefa. org/ disciplinary/ news/ newsid=2039939. html
[155] Daily Telegraph 31 August 2013
[156] http:/ / www. google. com 30 august 2013
[157] worldfootballnews; 31 August 2013
[158] BBC Sport online 01/01/14
[159] Daily Telegraph 31 December 2013
[160] The Independent 31 January 2014
[161] The Times; 31 January 2014
[162] http:/ / www. mirror. co. uk/ sport/ football/ news/ chelseas-jose-mourinho-waiting-uefa-3103636
[163] http:/ / www. perthnow. com. au/ sport/ football/
manchester-city-lost-more-than-975m-dollars-last-year-more-than-uefas-financial-fair-play-rules/ story-fnk5e6j6-1226813554770
[164] The Guardian; 1 February 2014
[165] Daily Telegraph 4 March 2014
[166] Daily Mail; 1 February 2014
[167] BBC News website 28 February 2014
[168] Daily Telegraph 28 February 2014
[169] Daily Telegraph 29/04/14
[170] Sky Sports 29/04/14
Article Sources and Contributors 30

Article Sources and Contributors

UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations  Source:  Contributors: Andrewcrawford, Arcandam, Armanjafari, Bandanamerchant, Bgwhite,
BigJolly9, Bloovee, Captain Courageous, Chanheigeorge, Chris the speller, Conquistador2k6, Crizmor13, Czib, Dana akba, Dewritech, Dl2000, Download, Edward, Eeekster, EoGuy,
Ernestogon, Eumolpo, Excirial, Frze, Fuzzy510, Gary Pattinson, Godwhale, Ground Zero, Gunther878787, Icarusgeek, Jmorrison230582, Jonathan Winsky, Jw2036, Keith D, Khazar2, Lamro,
Lemonade51, LilHelpa, Limefrost Spiral, Matthew hk, Mattythewhite, Mihneass, Mikebward85, Mild Bill Hiccup, Mogism, Naersjoen, Niceguyedc, Nick Number, PeeJay2K3, Pippo skaio,
Quinxorin, Racklever, Rondonia9, Sluido, Soni, StarryGrandma, Stevo1000, Swanseajack4life, Tabletop, The Banner, The Rambling Man, The1337gamer, Threeohsix, ThurnerRupert,
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