Football’s financial fair play rules are set to undergo dramatic change, with the key break-even measure declared “purposeless” by UEFA. With Covid-19 creating a crisis “very different from anything we have had to tackle before”, according to officials, believe new rules should concentrate on clubs’ wage levels and the scale of fees in the transfer market.
Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s director of research and financial stability, said a solution was not easy and there should not be an assumption that new rules would be more relaxed during a meeting between UEFA and European Union officials on Thursday.
“Covid 19 has generated a revenue crisis and had a big impact on the liquidity of clubs. This is a crisis which is very different from anything we have had to tackle before. In such a situation obviously, clubs are struggling; they have difficulties in complying with their obligations.”
Financial fair play has affected many big clubs including the likes of Manchester City, where the clubs had to face a transfer ban where they cannot sign players from other clubs for a certain period of time. The latest case of FFP was against Man City where City were fined €10m for failure to cooperate, but they were free to play in UEFA competitions after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned a two-year ban from European football and €30 million fine that was imposed upon Man City.
Paris Saint-Germain has also been previously charged under financial fairplay guidelines. Several smaller clubs across Europe have paid fines for breaching these rules in the past. Relaxation of these rules will certainly benefit the clubs that are backed by state such as Man City and PSG. Even though the market for players has dipped, these clubs could end up spending big fee. UEFA will have to make sure that FFP rules are relaxed in such a way that competitive edge in Europe is not completely lost.