(WFI) European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urges clubs to support UEFA’s “strengthened” financial fair play rules.
“The financial fair play rules are a very important tool for clubs to control their economic situation,” he said.
“The new version of the rules is perfectly in line with the financial fair play principles, develops the system further and strengthens those principles. Therefore, ECA calls on clubs to keep on supporting the financial fair play system and to work within the framework of the new financial fair play rules.”
On Monday, UEFA’s Executive Committee voted through some revisions to the 2015-18 club licensing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations at its meeting in Prague.
The updated FFP rules ease restrictions on club spending as part of efforts to make more teams competitive and allow clubs to attract new investors. The new model follows a two-year consultative process involving key stakeholders such as the ECA.
Since its implementation three years ago, collective losses by clubs have decreased by 70 percent.
UEFA president Michel Platini said: “The new regulations are an expansion and a strengthening of financial fair play. The overall objectives of financial fair play remain the same.
“We are just evolving from a period of austerity to one where we can offer more opportunities for sustainable growth and development.”
The ECA said the revamped regulations, which come into force on Wednesday (July 1), “will encourage more growth and development, inclusivity and market stimulation”.
The FFP rules will now make it easier for clubs who have undergone a recent restructuring or takeover to comply with requirements.
For these clubs, monitoring will increase and broaden in scope through the application of rigorous conditions. New amendments will take into account disadvantages faced by clubs due to sudden economic shocks or severe market structural deficiencies within its operating region, the ECA noted.
Clubs can enter into a voluntary agreement with UEFA under if a period of financial losses is forecast as long as they can deliver a plan showing they will break even within three years.
“All of these enhancements will further encourage responsible investors and stakeholders to continue to contribute to the strong and healthy growth of club football in Europe,” said the ECA in a statement.
The club licensing criteria have also been expanded to encourage inclusivity, promote integrity and increase awareness.Refinements will improve youth education and coaching quality by requiring educational programs that focus on the problems and dangers of match-fixing and a minimum standard of youth coaching qualifications.
Investment related to youth and women’s football development will now be excluded from the break-even calculation to incentivise more development in these initiatives.
“We are sure that these new rules will encourage investors to invest in European football because European football is the best product in the world when it comes to club football,” UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told a press conference, according to the Associated Press.
“[We want] to make sure the competitive balance of Europe is improved even more so clubs can maybe retain some players, even invest in new players in order to get some results and generate more revenue,” Infantino said. “You can invest something and with investment you can generate more revenue so we bring more clubs to compete at the top table.”
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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