UEFA postpone FFP's 'break-even' assessments until end of next season

UEFA relax their Financial Fair Play rules to allow clubs to record coronavirus losses in football’s finance crisis without being banned from Europe

  • UEFA are pushing back their break-even assessment for clubs by one season
  • The amendment to Financial Fair Play comes in response to the Covid-19 crisis
  • It is hoped relaxing restrictions can help clubs navigate through the pandemic 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

UEFA have announced they are relaxing Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules to allow struggling clubs to balance the accounts as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With matches behind-closed and a drop-off in revenue, UEFA’s executive committee met via videoconference on Thursday to form their plan to help clubs ease through the financial uncertainty.  

The break-even assessment, which forces clubs playing in the Champions League and Europa League to spend only what they earn, of club finances for 2020 will be postponed.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin chaired a meeting of the executive committee on Thursday

Instead, the financial figures for 2020 will be looked at and assessed alongside the 2021 financial year.

The intention of the changes is to provide clubs with greater flexibility in order to meet transfer and salary obligations, quantify and account for unexpected losses of revenue and adjusting the break-even calculations for any shortfall in earnings reported this year or next.

UEFA hopes to neutralise the impact of the pandemic by averaging the combined deficit of 2020 and 2021 and by ‘further allowing specific Covid-19 adjustments’.

It was agreed to postpone ‘break-even’ assessments until next season to help stricken clubs

FFP was brought in a decade ago as a response to the global financial crisis which saw a collapse of banks and a crash in the economy. 

The impact of the coronavirus has seen leagues across Europe halted for months and fans kept away and so the measures are thought to be a way to help clubs emerge without too much economic damage.  

In Thursday’s statement, UEFA announced:

• the assessment of financial year 2020 is postponed for one season, and will be assessed together with the financial year 2021;

• the 2020-21 monitoring period is curtailed and only covers two reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018 and 2019);

• the 2021-22 monitoring period is extended and covers four reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018-2019-2020 and 2021).

• the financial years 2020 and 2021 are assessed as one single period;

• the adverse impact of the pandemic is neutralised by averaging the combined deficit of 2020 and 2021 and by further allowing specific Covid-19 adjustments.

The changes will not affect Manchester City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against their two-year ban from European competition handed out by UEFA this season

Manchester City are currently in dispute with UEFA having been ruled to have allegedly broken FFP rules. 

City has been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons for alleged deceptions about the source of revenue from Abu Dhabi. 

UEFA punished City in February after a panel of independent judges found the club guilty of ‘serious breaches’ of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and withholding cooperation from investigators. 

City has denied wrongdoing. The club is also challenging a UEFA order to forfeit 30 million euros (£26.7m) from its Champions League prize money – about one-third of its annual payout. 

Their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport will not be impacted by the temporary FFP changes agreed on Thursday to the ‘break-even’ regulations.

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