February 22, 2020
Uefa’s desire to encourage long‑term investment instead of relying on increasing debt is working
Liverpool’s rejuvenation shows clubs should be thankful for FFP | David Conn
In the days after Manchester City were found to have seriously breached Uefa’s financial fair play rules by overstating their sponsorships from Abu Dhabi companies, some of the ensuing discussion rapidly diverted from that guilty finding to questioning the merits of FFP itself. Approved by Uefa in the 2009 season after years of wondering how to drag European football from overspending on players’ wages, FFP has since transformed top division clubs’ finances overall, and was introduced by the Premier League in 2013.
City’s impatient ambitions after the great fortune of the 2008 takeover by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi ruling family were based on him bankrolling mega-spending, rather than the FFP principle that clubs should not spend more than they make in revenues and not rely on owner funding. Mansour’s executives were adversarially hostile to FFP and threatened to sue Uefa in 2014 as its club financial control body (CFCB) assessed City’s deficit at around €180m, far greater than the €45m allowable then.
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