The European Football Association (UEFA) has reformed the Financial Fair Play rules to be more flexible but more targeted, allowing clubs to increase their deficits but preventing them from wasting all their income on salaries and transfer fees.
As expected, the Executive Committee of the Continental Football Association amended the budget rules that have been in effect since 2010, in search of a balance between spending and revenues for clubs, under penalty of punishment that may amount to exclusion from continental participation.
Slovenian UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin said the main innovation would be the introduction of team cost controls, to be implemented gradually to avoid excessive spending in salaries.
The European Union moved away from the strict accounting logic that it adopted in the early stages of the financial fair play rule, by doubling the allowable deficit over three years for each club to become 60 million euros, so that it may reach 90 million during the same period for the club that enjoys “financial health.” good.”
But at the same time, the continental football body has approved a watered down form of the “salary cap” system that is widely applied in American professional leagues such as the NBA, but given that it is impossible to implement it with the same strictness with 55 national associations with legislation different from one to the other.
Clubs will have to set the salaries of their players and coaches, transfer fees and agent commissions at 70 percent of their income, starting from the 2025-2026 season.
This rule was delayed until the 2025-2026 season because the currently executed contracts have an average maturity of nearly three years, which requires the gradual implementation of this rule at 90 percent of the income in 2023-2024, and then 80 percent in 2024-2025.
Violating clubs will have to pay pre-determined fines according to the size of the breach, with the proceeds of these fines being distributed to the clubs that have adhered to the rule.
In addition, UEFA will impose other penalties on violating clubs, up to the point of banning contracts, loaning players, downloading from a European competition to another lower level (such as from the Champions League to the Europa League), and deducting points during the “mini-championship” that will replace it. From the group stage starting from 2024, when the number of teams participating in the Champions League will be raised from 32 to 36, with each club playing 10 matches without home and away instead of the current six system, which divides clubs into eight groups of four teams.
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