Chelsea, Man City, West Ham And Leicester ESCAPE FFP Punishments From UEFA

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Chelsea, Leicester, Man City and West Ham have avoided sanctions under UEFA financial fair play rules because of ‘exceptional COVID deductions and consideration of historical financial results’

However, the clubs have been warned that those exemptions do not apply this season and they will be ‘monitored closely in the upcoming period’.

UEFA have concluded settlement agreements with eight clubs who agreed to a total of £149M (€172M) in financial contributions

The governing body found that AC Milan, AS Monaco, AS Roma, Beşiktaş JK,  Internazionale Milano, Juventus, Olympique de Marseille  and Paris Saint-Germain did not comply with the break-even requirement.

UEFA has been analysing the spending of European clubs for compliance with FFP rules

UEFA’s analysis covered the financial years 2018 to 2022, however, clubs were subject to emergency Covid measures during 2020 and 2021, when fans were largely banned from stadiums and TV deals were adjusted. As a result, clubs were given dispensations during these years.

The Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) examined the financial affairs of all the clubs participating in the 2021-22 UEFA competitions.

The analysts concluded the English clubs, along with Rangers, were compliant because they ‘were able to technically fulfil the break-even requirement thanks to the application of the COVID-19 emergency measures and/or because they benefited from historical positive break-even results’.

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In a statement, UEFA added: ‘The CFCB reminded these clubs that as from financial year 2023 these exceptional COVID deductions and consideration of historical financial results will no longer be possible. 

Manchester City spent £51M this summer securing the signature of Erling Haaland

Manchester City spent £51M this summer securing the signature of Erling Haaland

‘These clubs were further asked for additional financial information and will be monitored closely in the upcoming period. The goal of course is that the clubs’ overall financial situation is in compliance with the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Sustainability Regulations – Edition 2022 in coming years.’ 

new balance

UEFA’s FFP regulations are even stricter than those in the English top flight. From this summer, the allowable losses – or the ‘acceptable deviation’ as the accountants put it – are just over £50M (or 60M Euros), compared to £105M in the Premier League.

While the Premier League clubs have avoided sanctions, UEFA’s scrutiny has had a impact, particularly for Leicester City.

Boss Brendan Rodgers faced frustration after reportedly being told he could only invest a third of the £70million fee received from the sale of Wesley Fofana to Chelsea. 

The FFP rules and a 25 per cent sell-on fee to Fofana’s previous club Saint-Etienne restricted Leicester’s ability to bring in new players. However, the Foxes did sign Reims centre-back Wout Faes, 24, to boost their defensive ranks for £15M at the end of the transfer window.

Following the Fofana sale, Rodgers acknowledged the difficulties. He said: ‘There have been discussions but it is certainly not going to be the whole fee [from Fofana’s sale],’ Rodgers said.

‘I think there’s part of that with Saint-Etienne as well, plus the situation that the club is in.’

Potential sanctions against clubs that breach the rules include, a warning, fines, demotion from one European competition to another and even exclusion. 

In this case, the eight offending clubs have been given fines. However, only 15 per cent has to be paid in full, while the remaining balance is conditional, depending on compliance with targets set in each settlement agreement.

Any money owed can be paid up front or deducted from cash the clubs earn in UEFA competitions.

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