UEFA give clubs an FFP break as cash crisis unbalances football’s finances

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By Andrew Warshaw

June 18 – European clubs mired in financial difficulty caused by the Covid-19 lockdown have been given a temporary reprieve by UEFA from its financial fair play regulations.

UEFA said it is easing its rules for monitoring break-even spending given how much clubs are losing from football being wiped off the map for three months and having to resume behind closed doors.

Announcing that it was combining two accounting years into one, UEFA said: “The adverse impact of the pandemic is neutralized by averaging the combined deficit of 2020 and 2021 and by further allowing specific COVID-19 adjustments.”

UEFA said it was committed to “retaining the spirit and intent of financial fair play for football’s long-term viability.”

Clubs will still have to ensure they do not have outstanding debts relating to transfers, players’ wages or tax bills but have been given one month extra, to the end of July, to prove it.

UEFA said the move was aimed at “giving clubs more time to quantify and account for unanticipated loss of revenues.”

The changes will not affect Manchester City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against their UEFA-imposed two-year ban from European competition, with a judgement expected some time next month.

After the second day of a video-conference executive committee meeting, UEFA also called on member federations to close the summer transfer window on October 5 – way after the usual deadline of the end of August.

Significantly, October 5 is one day before UEFA´s deadline for registering squads to play in the Champions League and Europa League next season.

Having held a press conference after Wednesday’s exco session, UEFA did not hold another but last month UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin conceded that because of the toll on clubs, Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations could be adapted to the “new times”.

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