Sports Monks

Financial Fair Play: UEFA warns that FFP cases can be re opened on a case-by-case basis amid recent leaks:

European soccer’s governing body; UEFA on Monday said that Financial Fair Play Investigations (FFP) could be reopened after recent leaks of Der Spiegel claimed Manchester City and Paris St-Germain overvalued sponsorship deals to help meet the rules. UEFA has been adamant FFP has “without question” been successful in helping clubs avoid controversial debts since its inception seven years ago. Every club affiliated to UEFA faces an annual assessment against the break-even requirements and many have been investigated and either sanctioned or cleared. However, UEFA has confirmed it would be prepared to examine former cases if it decides there was a clear abuse of the system, as shown by the new evidence.

UEFA allows for only a 30 million Euros deficit and insists “Financial Fair Play has led to a steep change in the health of the finances in European club football”. “Seven years ago, European clubs had a cumulative debt of 1.7 billion Euros. Last year it was a profit of 600 million Euros,” UEFA said in their statement on Monday.

Both Manchester City and PSG were fined 60 million Euros for FFP breaches in 2014,  but it was claimed by Der Spiegel that City were allowed to come up with their own punishment, while PSG got off lightly. French investigative website Mediapart goes a bit more forward and claims Gianni Infantino – the current FIFA president who was then UEFA’s general secretary – “directly negotiated an agreement with Manchester City”, bypassing the Financial Control Panel of European football’s governing body.

Manchester City has said the leaks were an organized attempt to damage its reputation. PSG has said it firmly denies the allegations. Both clubs have released an official statement in which they clearly deny any fact of violating the FFP rules. They claim to have acted in every transfer market well within the limits of Financial Fair Play.

Infantino, on the other hand, has responded that his job as The General Secretary of UEFA was not to kick out clubs but to work with them through agreements and negotiations in order to seek a solution. “The fact is, in the history of FFP, 30 violations have been detected. With all but one club, there were agreements. Agreements and negotiations are expressly allowed. That was my job as a General Secretary” Infantino signed off.

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