Financial Fair Play turns out to be a damp squib as UEFA president walks away from confrontation with big-spending clubs.
UEFA president Michel Platini has confirmed that no clubs will be kicked out of European competition next season for breaking financial fair play rules.
UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) policy intended to stop clubs spending more than they earn, comes into effect next season. However, the ultimate sanction of excluding clubs who fail to comply will not be enforced for the 2014-15 season.
The sighs of relief emanating from Paris, Monaco and Manchester will only be matched in volume by the hot air spouted by Platini over the issue of irresponsible clubs spending more than they earn.
“In effect, the first decisions will be announced at the start of May,” Platini told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview published on its website.
“But if you are expecting blood and tears and you will be disappointed. There will be some tough things but no exclusions from European competition.
“I think that significant sanctions will affect the big clubs. We will go through with this.”
One wonders what such sanctions would comprise. Would a club like Paris Saint-Germain, who are ‘sponsored’ by the Qatar Tourist Authority to the tune of 200 million euros each year, really be deterred from splashing out if UEFA issued them a token fine?
This is all a far cry from the apocalyptic threats issued in recent years by Platini to those clubs who breach the FFP regulations.
Asked if Uefa really would exclude one of Europe’s biggest clubs, Platini said: “It will have to be time for them to face the music if there is a club that doesn’t fall in line. It is not something I want, but it is something the disciplinary bodies will look at. It will be a last resort. Football will continue without them.”
Michel Platini January 2011.
Of PSG, Platini said he was unsure if that “innovative” sponsorship deal played by the rules.
He added: “I will say simply that Paris St Germain’s financial model is distinctive and atypical. That image contract with the QTA, the tourism office of Qatar, is innovative, that’s all I can say.
“But is it viable? Is the value of the contract correct? These are questions that the experts must decide.”
The Club Financial Control Body panel, which will ultimately pass judgment on the errant clubs, has four options open to them – to dismiss the case; to agree a settlement with the club effectively putting them on probation; to issue a reprimand and fine of up to 100,000 euros; or in more serious cases to refer the club to the adjudicatory chamber.
That second disciplinary panel can issue a number of sanctions, which include points deductions, a salary cap for the European squad, withholding revenues or exclusion from European competition.
Since FFP was introduced, only two clubs have been banned from European competition due to financial irregularities: Spain’s Malaga and Romania’s Rapid Bucharest.
Read into that what you will.