By Andrew Warshaw
August 30 – As the summer transfer market reaches its denouement and the spending spree winds up for six months, UEFA president Alexandre Ceferin has made it clear his organisation is not turning a blind eye to the financial excesses many believe are spiralling out of control.
Much has been made of Financial Fair play no longer having the teeth it once did but Ceferin insists that UEFA will not hesitate to intervene if there is clear evidence that Europe’s biggest hitters are breaking the rules.
Both Paris St Germain and Manchester City were slapped with fines three years ago and ordered to reduce their squads in the Champions League for falling foul of FFP. But the recent explosion of multi-million Euro transfers suggests FFP is no longer the deterrant it once was.
Not so, says Ceferin.
In an interview with l’Equipe, Ceferin shrugged off suggestions that PSG may not have learned their lesson after splashing out a world record €222 million on Neymar amid reports they are also closing in on Monaco’s teenage star Kylian Mbappé for another astronomical sum.
“To be honest, I hope they have (learned),” said Ceferin. “If that is not the case then we will teach them. I am not talking only about Paris Saint-Germain. The transfer window is not yet closed. You can be sure that we are working on all of this. I don’t want to make a specific case of PSG. But we have many possible sanctions. We can exclude teams from competitions, we can deduct points.”
More revelatory perhaps, even though many of his colleagues are against the idea, Ceferin appears to have not ruled out implementing some kind of salary cap across European football though how individual governments could impose this remains unclear. Without providing details he hinted the subject may be discussed at UEFA’s extraordinary congress in Geneva next month.
“Some years ago (then UEFA president) Michel Platini and (then European Clubs Association president) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said it was impossible to have a salary cap in football. I’m not so sure. We have a meeting in September and we will see. Something has to be done. Perhaps not an American-style salary cap but there are strictly sporting measures we can take. For example limiting or forbidding loans or limiting the number of players under contract.”
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