July 31 – The UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are not completely in tatters after the Manchester City case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled against an appeal filed by Turkish club Trabzonspor that will see them banned from next season UEFA club competition.
In June 2019 Trabzonspor was handed a one-year ban from European competition by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) for failing to meet break-even compliance required by an agreement it had made with UEFA back in 2016.
Under the 2016 agreement the club would have escaped the European club competition ban for either the 2020/21 or 2021/22 season (whichever it might qualify for first) if it met certain conditions including meeting a target set with UEFA relating to its 2019 financial results.
At the close of the 2019/20 season Trabzonspor qualified for European club competition by finishing second in the Turkish SuperLig. The club was banned from take up that spot following a CFCB check on the club’s finances but Trabzonspor immediately appealed to CAS looking to have the decision overturned.
A CAS statement said: “Having considered the parties’ written submissions and evidence, the Sole Arbitrator in charge of this matter found that Trabzonspor did not meet the required break-even result for the 2019 financial year and dismissed the appeal.”
In the light of the Manchester City ruling and the ensuing controversy around the winning of the appeal against a two-year ban for breaking FFP rules, Trabzonspor will likely feel aggrieved that they lost their appeal. However, it does shows that the UEFA rules do have some teeth left and they can still bite. A warning to other clubs that play loose with FFP rules.
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