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The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) has held its second general assembly of the season at the House of European Football in Nyon, emphasising its support for UEFA's financial fair play initiative as well as adopting a resolution on limits to the size of squads.
The EPFL, which this week inaugurated new headquarters in Nyon, is represented on the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) which discusses and seeks solutions to vital issues within European football. Four representatives of the EPFL sit on the PFSC together with four UEFA vice-presidents, representatives of the European Club Association (ECA) and the European division of the players' body FIFPro.
"There was a very good discussion on financial fair play, and UEFA gave a very good explanation of how things are going," said EPFL chairman Sir David Richards. "There has been terrific cooperation between the leagues and UEFA to get [financial] fair play to where it is. We are pleased with the progress that has been made and looking forward to the next stage."
The financial fair play concept launched by UEFA, in consultation with the football family, is aimed, among other things, at bringing about rational club financial activities – whereby clubs do not spend more than they earn, but balance their books, settle liabilities in a timely manner, invest long-term in youth sectors and infrastructures, and operate within their means with respect to transfer fees and player salaries. A major objective of the concept is to preserve the long-term viability of the European game.
"Football came together to try to do something about the future of the game," Sir David said. "The initiative came from UEFA, and the leagues have taken this on board."
"UEFA has to be congratulated not just for raising the issue and promoting a global response to the challenges that we are facing to ensure that clubs remain sustainable," added EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros. "UEFA has developed a very constructive consultation process, and we have been fortunate to be able to provide our input and also some proposals which have already been taken on board."
The EPFL assembly adopted a resolution on squad size limits at national level which, the resolution says, should be implemented by the 2012/13 season at the latest.
The resolution calls for squads of up to a maximum 25 registered players for each club at any time during the season, at European and domestic top levels – the top division in the domestic case. In addition to the 25 registered players, an unlimited number of Under-21 players would be allowed.
"It is a first step towards the establishment of squad limits across Europe," the EPFL CEO explained. "That is something very positive to ensure a level playing field and to ensure that financial stability, youth development and homegrown players are fostered and fully encouraged. This rule is also an important component of the UEFA financial fair play concept."
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