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Friday June 22 2018
FFP a work in progress

Since 2010, UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations have raised many questions, but have shown improvement, argues Matthew Santangelo.

It looks as if Milan will be excluded from Europe after they were refused both a voluntary and settlement agreement by UEFA, yet Paris Saint-Germain continue to spend with wild abandon and seemingly no consequences. Is it that simple, though?

Much has been said about the fairness of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which came into effect back in 2010. This set of rules delves deep into the financial obligations clubs must adhere to, and are centered around two main areas as indicated by UEFA: the obligation, over a period of time, to maintain balanced books and the obligation to meet all transfer and employment commitments.

Expanding further, one of the purposes of FFP is to not only place certain spending restrictions related to generated revenue, and prevent clubs from investing excessively beyond their financial means, but also to help keep the game on as even a playing field as possible.

Yet, while most of the revenue earnings are readily accessible to the public, there are still eyebrows being raised surrounding FFP and whether all clubs are being dealt with equally.

Roma and Inter are the first two Italian clubs that come to mind with regards to FFP regulations based on the fact that both seem to be regularly working each summer to avoiding sanctions from UEFA.

Meanwhile, major outfits like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are capable of splashing a ton each summer without much of the hassle that comes along with balancing the books through departures.

Of course, as UEFA laments on their official site, another main principle of FFP is “to encourage clubs to operate on the basis of their own revenues,” which has been difficult for Italian outfits because as a league, Serie A isn’t generating nearly as much as some of the other top leagues - the Premier League as the primary example.

The Premier League’s revenue sharing is leaps and bounds beyond any of the top five leagues in Europe, allowing even the smaller clubs to spend relatively large amounts each summer after their split – even if they aren’t beneficiaries of UEFA competition slices of the pie.

The Premier League remains arguably the world’s most popular league, so the spending tendencies of some clubs are rationalized based on their high revenue streams.

However, some still feel that others are avoiding certain sanctions solely based on their status, while others continue to struggle each year to operate within the rules, all at the cost of selling top players to make it happen.

With the exception of Juventus who independently own their own stadium and are pretty self-sufficient, many clubs in Italy continue to battle with FFP, leading many to ask whether UEFA is using it fairly for all.

Over the past few years, there have been cases where many do not seem to understand how certain clubs continue to bypass FFP, outspend 90% of the clubs and sacrifice little along the way – notably PSG, who up until last week sailed along relatively unscathed.

The Qatari-owned club were cleared of breaking any of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules following last summer’s major coup of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé who, after the latter’s option is recorded, exceed €400m in transfer fees. The fact this is an option means the can has been kicked down the road and the real problems could be in next year’s balance sheet.

While the Ligue 1 champions avoided fines, UEFA stated they would be closely monitored, which feels like a light slap on the wrist in the grand scheme of things.

One gets the feeling that Milan are being made an example of to other clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, for future clampdowns. After all, they are 'only' in the Europa League and haven't been a firm fixture on the continent for some time, so are far easier to deal with than a Champions League contender. Excluding Milan would send a signal, albeit a mixed one, because it seems as if the Rossoneri's biggest fault was not having an objectively rich owner ready to plug the holes. That is the exact opposite of what FFP was meant to encourage.

UEFA’s intentions with Financial Fair Play, among many other things, is to prevent clubs from exceeding their revenue in transfer fees, ensuring they are financially stable and to block investors from flexing their wealth to control the market.

While a possible sanctioning of PSG should they fail to generate €60m in income by June 30 shows minimal improvement in FFP’s governance, it’s ultimately on Italian clubs to do their part, improve their financial standing and continue performing on the pitch as a way to boost revenue that will alleviate the pressure.

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Have your say...
@ FFP is NOT BS, Read the rules you IDIOT!

FFP is originally created to help club from owner's abuse. Previously, ppl like Abramovich injected millions and millions to his club and it's silently recorded as LOAN! So that when he sells the club one day, he will always get profit thanks to club's value + hidden club's loan.

However, FFP stil allows club's owner to inject money to cover losses but it's now considered as donation. That's what Al Khelaifi does behind the mask of sponsorship.
on the 27th June, 2018 at 11:43pm
@Giancarlo C's Mom you are an idiot.

Owners are no longer allowed to directly invest into their teams since FFP was established. To many teams were going into the red, causing them to borrow more. Al-Khelaifi, works for the Qatari government, which set up a sponsorship to bypass FFP rules. The rules need to be fixed. Either a cap on EVERY team (which they can't because of EU rules) or scrap it and let teams manage themselves.
on the 27th June, 2018 at 1:54am
I cant wait to laugh and see who leaves first. for some reason i have a good idea who that person will be baaahahahahahha!!!
on the 25th June, 2018 at 5:08pm
BAN hahahaha You are going to be banned !!! and there is reasonable cause. The end !!!
on the 25th June, 2018 at 5:06pm
Either way, its time to say goodbye to most of milans mediocre players. I dont really see what the big deal is tbh. You wasted 200 mil on a bunch of garbage anyway and had to start over as there are 0 good players to build a team around on milan anyway. Anyone who stays there is either dumb or just has nowhere else to go lol. The little dream is already over lol
on the 25th June, 2018 at 5:01pm
@Tuvieja, Jama

You're a perfect example of pathetic idiotic brainwashed Milan fans. Hahaha

"Why should Milan be punished for doing the same as PSG?"
-Because Milan spent money which isn't theirs (the money came from Loanshark), unlike PSG who spent millions from sponsors and private fund of Al Khelaifi (Qatar Sports Investments).

Al Khelaifi is a wealthy and trusted businessman and has very good reputation in Asia and Europe. While Yonghong Li is a joke in China and now: rest of the world.
on the 25th June, 2018 at 2:01pm
Giancarlo, you buffoon. Clubs having owners with deep pockets and buying themselves to success is the whole reason why FFP was created - to prevent clubs from buying themselves trophies. Why should Milan be punished for doing the same as PSG? Why should PSG's wealthy owner be allowed to spend +400 million euros? yet Milan are not allowed to spend 200 million in the same period.

FFP means wealthy owners should pay from their own pockets you stupid boy.
on the 25th June, 2018 at 6:03am
Giancarlo's, stop your nonsense because you are talking BS. It is not the fact that PSG has money or not because you have to be clueless to deny this. The thing here is why some clubs are treated different, when PSG business practices are shady to say the least. This have a simple solution really, as some already said: a salary cap and a transfer cap. The rest is BS, but that wont happen since UEFA is corrupt and will protect the biggest clubs no matter what.
on the 24th June, 2018 at 9:41pm
Milan fans, you are so pathetic with all your grumble about FFP. Milan sucks, managed by idiots who think they can lie to the world with acting like their owner has money from his OWN POCKET! Read FFP rules before you moan, PSG owner has money and doesn't mind to lose money for PSG and it all come from his OWN POCKET. Now, look at your Pity club! Without loanshark's money, Milan would only be a history. Now go blame Berlusconi!
on the 24th June, 2018 at 5:33pm
most of PSG's revenues come from their own owners which is shaddy. but PSG is improving the whole French League. Though I m an Inter Milan fan, I agree that AC Milan have been unfairly dealt with. UEFA should look into the source of revenue which is generated by PSG, Man City and Monaco.
on the 24th June, 2018 at 10:12am
Continued. And get away free with a slap on the wrist. Man city who have spwnt 200m a year for the last 5 years while they have an empty stadium every game have never had penalties. Im baffled by this decision because if milan should get a heavy ban i ask myself specifically why hasnt psg man city or monaco ever had one. I dont care cause of ownership milan have never missed payments and are backed by elliott who promised yo always invest. FFP is a joke
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 2:03pm
Continued. Get penalised. That why madrid have won three consecutive cause the competition is no longer competetive. Back to milan. For five years they never spent a dime and always had their books balanced and the one time they spend money they get the worst ban in uefa history? How can milan shine again in europw if you do this. But its ok that psg gave neymar 222m to bug out his own cantract so it wouldnt effect them in FFP and they spend another 200m so over 400m on playera in one year.
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 2:00pm
I always said that FFP was the worst thing they ever did. Somebody please tell me how after all these years psg man city man utd chelsea monaco and many others dont wvee get penalised and in one year milan do? Uefa is a money scam and a joke because it seems to be making the rich teams richer and the other teams worse off. Look at roma this year, roma make it to semi finals and now have to go sell players to balance their books. How do u expect an under dog to win the competition when they......
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 1:57pm
Continued. Neymar was trying not to laugh on the bench when his national team was losing 7-1 in the biggest sporting event in their recent history, Cr7 made sure everyone noticed his "instructions" from the byline as he "led" his country to their first major trophy, and Messi, one "of the best players of all time" tried to retire in his 20s, I don't remember Maldini, pricless as he was, trying to negotiate a better contract, or Cafu, what I do remember is Nedved crying for missing the final 2003
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 6:16am
Right on the money, Carpe Diem. Salary caps and transfer fees and agents' power to save the game.. coz wherever there's money there's corruption, our hard earned money of course, we fans everywhere pay the same to watch our team struggle (or not if it's owned by Qatar or Perez etc.) and those in charge are not interested in stopping the madness, players are mercenaries these days, no passion, no fun, fake fans and GOD.. a world cup with no champions. TBC
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 5:53am
@Anon81

FFP only allows you to spend as much as you earn. It can't regulate whether it is moral or not. What PSG doing isn't legal, it is spending what it (or its owner) has. PSG has money, Milan doesn't, and it can't convince others that it can get more. Plain and simple

If anyone wants to level the playing field, it is simple, put a salary and spending cap for EVERYONE. If Barcelona and Real Madrid can only spend as much as Udinese and Bologna can manage
on the 23rd June, 2018 at 4:18am
Not the most informative of articles. No data?

Besides, regulations implemented by known corrupt organizations like UEFA (or FIFA) are obviously aimed at protecting the interests (mostly financial but also sporting) of the most powerful European clubs as they exist today, and not to make football an "as level a playing field as possible."
Yeah yeah, and the US has 1000 military bases around the world to ensure "peace and democracy" too. I'm sure.

Only hope Milan isn't a casualty of this.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 10:06pm
Meanwhile idiotic, brainwashed Milan fans still think they can swap Bonaventura + 20M with a world class striker: Gonzalo Higuain.

Meanwhile, Milan players are learning their contract and be ready to accept any offer from Champions League clubs.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 9:33pm
If we want better competition amongst Clubs worldwide, as well as FFP, we should enforce a salary cap.
Certainly top showmen such as Ronaldo and Neymar, etc. deserve more, but the onus of paying the extra cash should land firmly on the sponsors.

Other rules could be implemented to favour Clubs that are struggling.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 8:22pm
uefa needs to create a incentives for clubs to find develop and grow they own youth players that is the ultimate answer to inflation in football. It also needs to really stamp down on the tapping up on youth players who go to a huge side and will never play a minutes worth of football.

Potentially when the epl implodes from it financial excesses than we could see a deflationary effect on the market, it seems unlikely that will change their ways at this point of time without a disaster.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 5:58pm
you might have a argument in a sense that the rate of inflation would be drastically more without the regulations but that is hard to prove. It has also committed owners to long term funding you think of psg or man city the owners created fake companies or in house sponsorship deals to keep funding the club transfer policies. It has failed on a basic level you have a group of 4 or 5 clubs creating a hyper inflated market for the top players it is going to have a inflationary effect.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 5:53pm
FFP was the brainchild of former Juve scum Platini to punish Juve's rivals.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 4:09pm
@Cheuk Hei Ho Maybe you should look up why they are earning so much. The owner of PSG is The Qatar Investment Authority, and they have a sponsorship deal with The Qatar Tourism Authority worth 200m a season. Both those companies are government owned. So it's basically the owners of PSG sponsoring themselves.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 1:15pm
Yawn. Nobody cares about milan. Their one year lame captain is leaving for psg and some of the mediocre players are going to follow after they are banned from europe.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 12:36pm
Simply put, aside from the way football works where some teams do not deliver results after a team re-structure, Milan had and have a very poor business model that is really not doing them any good. investing large sums of money in players they really cannot afford and not investing in youth. Look at Atalanta and Lazio, teams I despise, but must respect with how well they have been doing, investment in youth, intelligent spending etc.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 11:07am
For an article like this one, it is better if there is some actual data about the club's finance.

PSG can spend that much because they have generated that much revenue on the book.
on the 22nd June, 2018 at 11:02am

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