The governing body is adamant the rule has been a success, but is willing to re-examine old cases if they feel it is necessary
UEFA has warned it is prepared to reopen closed cases relating to Financial Fair Play if “new information” suggests such action is needed.
European football’s governing body insists FFP has “without question” been successful in helping clubs avoid spiralling debts since its inception seven years ago.
However, UEFA has confirmed it would be prepared to examine former cases if it decides there was a clear abuse of the system, as shown by new evidence.
In a statement, it said: “FFP has led to a step change in the health of the finances in European club football. Seven years ago, European clubs had a cumulative debt of €1.7billion. Last year it was a profit of €600million. Without question, it has been a success for the game across Europe.
“FFP is a framework which clubs that wish to play in UEFA competitions agree to abide by. It relies on the cooperation of clubs to declare a complete and genuine financial position. While UEFA can test the information it receives, it relies on that information being fair and accurate reflections of a club’s finances.
“UEFA conducts an annual assessment of all clubs against the break-even requirements of FFP on a rolling three-year basis. This includes a thorough assessment of clubs’ financial positions on the basis of both the information disclosed by the clubs (based on their independently audited financial statements) as well as a number of compliance checks and analysis undertaken by UEFA (including independent external audits). If new information comes to light that may be material to this assessment, UEFA will use that to challenge the figures and will seek explanation, clarification or rebuttal from the club concerned.
“Should new information suggest that previously-concluded cases have been abused, those cases may be capable of being re-opened as determined on a case by case basis.
“This approach is applied universally to all clubs that apply for a UEFA licence and participate in European club competitions.”
FFP, which is designed to prevent clubs risking serious debts through spending more than they earn, has come under scrutiny following allegations by the whistleblowing platform Football Leaks, reported primarily by Mediapart and Der Spiegel, relating to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Both City and PSG are accused of having extra money pumped into them by respective ownership groups through over-valued sponsorship deals, with former UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino alleged to have helped the clubs avoid severe sanctions.
The two clubs reached settlement agreements with UEFA in 2014 for FFP breaches, but it was claimed by Der Spiegel that City were allowed to come up with their own punishment, while PSG got off lightly.
City insisted the report’s aim was to damage their reputation, while PSG have denied any wrongdoing.
Infantino responded by telling Blick: “Our goal at UEFA was always to keep the clubs with us, not to kick them out, so you negotiate and seek solutions. That was my job as general secretary.
“The fact is, in the history of FFP, 30 violations have been detected. With all but one club, there were agreements. Agreements and negotiations are expressly allowed.”
Last week, PSG appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to stop UEFA re-examining its decision to clear the club of FFP violations in June.
UEFA decided to review the investigation in July, having cleared the Ligue 1 champions of contravening FFP rules a month earlier.