A new case of breach of financial fair play: the soccer market is in suspense over possible penalties and what that would mean for European clubs
The financial fair play is a concept created by UEFA, the biggest soccer organization in Europe that, since 2009, seeks to regulate the gains and losses of European clubs in the face of a more balanced market and a more equitable development of the sport. Based on a survey conducted that year, UEFA was able to conclude that a large number of clubs had losses on their annual balance.
This caused a trauma in the economy of the European countries, since these debts included from deferred payments to other clubs, as payroll of the staff without paying or debts with the same State. Following this, UEFA decided to "protect the game" and take comprehensive measures to maintain a fair game, both in the field and in the market.
However, it is common for cases of breach of financial fair play distorted in their true intentions, because they carry more weight the sporting and media consequences that a club can have, than the protection of its players and same clubs. Precisely this is what happens with the last major inclusion of UEFA to its investigations: the French club Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG). The media have made a large number of cabals with the possible consequences of the sanction, although their reality is quite different.
The information from UEFA
It is to be hoped that the largest number of media covering the cases related to UEFA's financial fair play will be of a sporting nature, since it is closely related, although not to the nature of the sport, at least with its relevance. However, the investigation of the reasons given by the biggest soccer organization in Europe are often not taken into account. These reasons, as well as any related news and financial and sports explanations, are recorded on the UEFA website.
One of the objectives of the organization is to make clear its spirit of transparency in these processes. In turn, UEFA renews a document every year entitled UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, which is open access and contains all regulations related to financial fair play. These include, for example, the hiring of minor players or their medical maintenance, as well as the concepts within which they locate irregular behaviors and the way they have to monitor them.
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What happens to the cases?
UEFA has a systematic way of proceeding. In the first instance, it has a research chamber that is in charge of monitoring the different European clubs that present unusual financial behavior or that deviate from the regulations. Subsequently, there is the adjudication chamber, which is responsible for imposing the relevant sanctions, once the respective evidence has been presented.
The Paris-Saint-Germain, in this case, has been carrying a severe monitoring since 2014, along with eight other teams at the time. In June of this year, in the updates of the investigations and sanctions, the French club was apparently in order with what was being investigated in 2015, 2016 and 2017. However, almost a month later, UEFA decided to send the case to the adjudication chamber for evaluation, which sparked the media wave of possible sanctions.
The situation of PSG joins that of clubs such as AC Milan, which in June 2018 was excluded for one season from any UEFA competition; the agreement reached with the AS Monaco in 2015 for its voluntary monitoring and compliance with the standards with an expectation gap to 2018; or the harsh sanction to Malaga in 2012, which was excluded for four seasons of any competition.
These cases, very much sounded at the time, may seem excessive or irrelevant in the development of the game. However, UEFA insists that financial fair play works. In a meeting that took place in 2016, it was possible to verify that the losses presented by the clubs in their annual balance had decreased, as well as the economic gap between the most powerful and those who were looking for a place on the playing field.
LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle
Translated from "'Fair play' financiero: Así busca la UEFA disminuir la brecha económica entre clubes"