Cut losses or it will be Financial Fair Play for clubs

slh&scopyAlready implemented across the continent by soccer’s European governing body UEFA, Financial Fair Play (FFP)  is designed to crack down on debt laden football clubs, with many teams across Europe this season being denied revenue, due to outstanding debts.  But is FFP something soon to be seen on home turf?  It sure could be!

A group of British politicians this week have said that the UEFA‘s FFP rules should be adopted across English football or new laws would have to be introduced to force clubs to clean up their finances and curb spending.

Clubs often struggle to translate cash into profit, with a large percentage of income being paid out just in wages with nothing left to spend.

A number of Premiership clubs have already said that they are on board with FFP plans and in a recent Premiere League meeting, proposals were put forward to adopt a form of FFP and introduce some cost control measures to manage the level of investment that clubs can have.

Understanding is that the top premiership clubs will have to abide with FFP rules anyway, as they will be playing in Europe, so it doesn’t make sense for a third of the league to abide by FFP rules and not the rest.

Although it does seem that clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are agreeing with proposals, a report published by Parliaments Culture, Media and Sports Committee  think that it is unlikely and have said that ‘so far seen little evidence that clubs will spend significant amounts of funding … on increasing their sustainability rather than on their players’.

There has also been some backlash from smaller clubs claiming that FFP will prevent them challenging the elite.

Although at this time it seems a slow and delicate process; politicians, governing bodies and Premiership clubs alike all have FFP on their mind and although some restraint, it seems that it is just a matter of time before UEFA or legislation changes the game of finance altogether.

Stephen Lownsbrough
Sports Law Department
0113 207 0000

(With contribution from Lauren Bowkett)

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