FAIR PLAY (FOR GOOD OF THE GAME): FFP Rule Set New Offside Trap For European Football Clubs

Will football clubs play fair financially? I doubt so. Not with the Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich owned Chelsea; Abu Dhabi owned Manchester City and recently, Qatari owned PSG pouring in so much finances that makes no business sense. As it may seem over the last decade, Europe's football clubs have become the new must have accessory for any billionaire itching to blow a big chunk of his wealth. And UEFA fear that financial melt down may hit the football business if these billionaires are allowed to over fire the industry.

In UEFA report published in 2011, it was estimated that 50 percent of top European clubs were losing money and 20 percent were recording deficits due to an ever increasing expenses clubs make to keep up with the high financial standards set by the billionaires.

The trend has propelled UEFA to come up with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules to maintain fair standards and protect clubs with smaller financial capital to compete relatively well.

  • Under the new rules owners can only contribute a maximum of 55.5 million for 2013 - 14 and 2015 seasons together and 37 million dollars during the period covering 2015 - 16, 2016 - 17 and 2017 - 18.

  • The rule state that should clubs incur losses in excess of 60 million dollars over three years period, they will be hit with sanctions as well as exclusion from the champions league and Europa league.

To this end, clubs must submit accounts for financial fair play for the first time in 2013 - 14 season. UEFA will scrutinize clubs operations to ensure they don't plot uncommon ways to beat the FFP.

What that means is clubs financing must make some business sense. Clubs must look for ways to meet potential revenue shortfalls to beef up their accounts or they may just be hit with UEFA sanction. The truth is, for football business to strife, clubs must run a healthy operation, where revenue should at least equal expenditure or surpass them.

Daniel Geey, football Finance expert of London firm, Field Fisher Waterhouse said, "The concern for many clubs if they breach the FFP requirements is whether they will be sanctioned through expulsion from UEFA competitions. Well, the sanctions for breaching the regulations may not be as harsh, but in order to fill a potential revenue shortfalls, clubs are looking for sponsorship, partnership and diversified investment opportunities." 

Well, this may just be a new offside trap UEFA has set for clubs in Europe and I personally think it's all for the good of the game.