The Fair Financial Play or Financial Fair Play encompasses a series of measures taken by UEFA (European Football Association Union) whose main objective is to control and limit the cost of football clubs . In the words of UEFA itself, the Financial Fair Play seeks to “improve the financial health of European clubs.”
This series of measures came into force in 2011 as a form of financial control by UEFA towards the clubs. During the 2000s, many football clubs squandered large amounts of money, which resulted in an exponential increase in their debt. In this way, UEFA intended to prevent this waste from continuing and reducing the debt of football clubs.
Main measures of the Financial Fair Play
The two main measures that summarize the Financial Fair Play are the following:
- Clubs that qualify for European competitions must prove that they have no debt to other clubs, players or tax authorities.
- As a general rule, clubs can only spend 5 million euros more than they enter. That is, there is practically a comparison between expenses and income. For example, the so-called “new rich” of the world of football can not spend an excessive amount of money on signings, unless there is an equivalent income (and do not come directly from their owners).
Failure to comply with the Fair Play Financial measures does not imply the automatic exclusion of European competitions, but it does cause disciplinary measures, ranging from a simple warning to the aforementioned exclusion of such competitions.
Example of clubs sanctioned by fair play financial
Since the entry into force of these measures several European clubs were sanctioned. The most important are the following:
- The Paris Saint Germain and the Manchester City. These clubs, owned by large Arab investment funds, ignored the Financial Fair Play measures and in 2014 were penalized with fines of 60 million euros and the limitation to register players.
- In Spain, the case of Malaga stands out. In 2012, UEFA prevented the Andalusian club from participating in European competitions, due to the significant debts it accumulated. Malaga appealed to the TAS (Sports Arbitration Court), but this appeal was dismissed.