The European football governing body, UEFA, would go on with the plans to mend the football body’s Financial Fair Play rules before the end of 2021.
The Financial Fair Play rules are the most controversial in UEFA’s law books. Many clubs have had to face UEFA’s ban for breaching the fair play rules over the years.
UEFA has added the financial fair play rules into its law books since 2009. The FFP was established to encourage European clubs to ‘break-even and spend what they could afford.
Currently, the argument is that the rules are not properly enforced, not effective, and not easily practicable as much as expected.
Hence, UEFA announced earlier in 2021 that the football governing body would have to review the rules to accommodate the current realities especially the financial complications clubs have been confronting since mid-March 2020, thanks to Covid-19.
The European football governing body, UEFA, has estimated that football clubs across Europe lost £7.5 billion in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recall that clubs in Europe had to play behind closed doors from mid-March 2020 to late in the 2020-2021 season to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Even when spectators returned to stadia in some major leagues in Europe, they had to return in bits to maintain social distancing.
Based on this, most clubs like FC Barcelona and Inter Milan, are in big debt and they have to sell players and cut players’ salaries to survive.
Due to the financial hardship, most of the clubs are battling, some clubs came up with a breakaway European Super League to raise money. But the football world stood against the break-away league until the plan was halted.
As it stands, the proposed amendment to the FFP rules is expected to make the rules more effective especially in the aspect of monitoring and controlling spending.
The proposed amendment is expected to focus more on tackling high levels of spending on players’ transfers and wages. UEFA intends to achieve that by placing a luxury tax on transfers and a salary cap on players’ wages.
Speaking at the 45th UEFA Congress, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “I have read…that we are planning to abolish financial fair play.
“Let me be clear: that is not going to happen. However, we do need to adapt it to the new reality. We need to encourage and release investments.
“We need to correct some of the injustices that Financial Fair Play may indirectly bring about in the current circumstances.”
If the rules are changed, it might be difficult to see deals like Romelu Lukaku’s £97.5m move from Inter Milan to Chelsea and Jack Grealish’s £100m from Aston Villa to Manchester City.