Thursday July 27 2017
‘Milan not exempt from FFP’

The head of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play commission warns “Milan will not be an exception” to the rules.

The Rossoneri will present their plans for a voluntary agreement with European football’s governing body this Autumn, and have spent big this summer in advance of that.

“Milan will not be an exception to Financial Fair Play, because no club enjoys an exception,” Andrea Traverso cautioned in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Fair play does posterior controls though, we can’t say what to do and what not to do. Everyone is free, then there are consequences.

“Certainly Milan can’t just do what they want, if they’re buying it’s because they intend to return to high levels.

“The voluntary agreement is for new shareholders, you get four years to balance the books instead of three. Clubs need to move on the road to recovery, and UEFA will make our assessments.

“If the conditions aren’t there to do it then the voluntary agreement might not be granted. We don’t know the accounts in detail, because the transfers will go onto the books in 2018.

“The difference with Inter? It’s hard to explain, but for one thing [before this season] Milan weren’t in Europe and therefore weren’t subject to FFP.

“The other, Inter, were so if you qualify you have to respect the rules. The market isn’t over, the sums will add up in the end.

“Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain respect the deal: they have huge revenues so they can take action, just look at City.

“The rules are the same for everyone, if a club buys then we’ll assume they’ve balanced the accounts. If not, they’ll be punished, but we can’t stop them buying.”

FFP has come in for plenty of criticism, and may well become a laughing stock if PSG pay €222m for Barcelona’s Neymar.

“We’re pleased with FFP, we’ve achieved unprecedented results over the past few years. In 2010 football lost €1.7bn, now it’s under €300m.

“The system is growing, it’s financially sustainable… but… in the last two years something unpreventable has changed.

“The rich are richer and the poor are poorer. The world is going in that way, and football is no exception, but football isn’t an industry like any other, it’s a competition.

“Football grows by 10 per cent every year. Everyone is obsessed with the figures for Neymar, but revenues for clubs have increased and, presumably, their accounts allow them to spend.

“The trend is worsening, in that fewer and fewer clubs win things, and in that case the long-term revenue will drop. But competitiveness has to start in the leagues.”

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