Two leading football clubs, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, could face millions of pounds in fines as a result of breaking UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
The FFP rules have been introduced to stop football clubs from overspending, which subsequently leads to unmanageable debt levels. In addition to this, many leading figures in the game have expressed concern that the huge investments and hiked levels of spending at the likes of Manchester City, are unfairly pricing other clubs out of the game.
Under the rule, clubs that lose more than £37 million over a 24-month period can be fined; as such, Manchester City’s two-year £149 million loss has seen them come under the scrutiny of the game’s European governing body. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have all complied with the newly established rules and whilst Liverpool have posted losses of £90 million over the previous two years, their absence from European competition has seen them made exempt from the regulations.
In addition to a potential fine, the clubs in question could also be penalised through a restriction of squad size and wage payments in relation to next season’s European competitions. As it stands, clubs can put forward a provisional squad of 25 for competing in Europe, but in the case of these clubs, UEFA are prepared to reduce this to as few as 18 players.
If the clubs fail to agree a deal with UEFA within the next few days, the problem will become the remit of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Speaking to the media, Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, attempted to downplay the UEFA ruling, saying: “When it is official news of UEFA, we can analyse what happens with the team. In this moment we don’t know what happens.”