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Club Licensing & Financial Sustainability Annual Workshop: tackling challenges of the future

Europe’s club licensing community came together in Rome to address some of the key changes made in the regulatory framework.

UEFA Club Licensing Workshop (Oct 2022)

The three-day workshop was the first of its kind since 2019, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and brought together representatives from all 55 UEFA member associations, the UEFA Club Licensing Committee, FIFA and UEFA's sister confederations, as well as representatives from clubs and fan groups.

The event was hosted in collaboration with the Italian Football Association (FIGC) and more than 150 participants discussed the key changes approved in the club licensing and financial sustainability regulatory framework earlier this year. New features focus on enhanced support for youth development and women’s football, newly adopted social responsibility measures, ownership structures, raising coaching standards and strengthened financial requirements.

The role of club licensing is to protect the game, including players, coaches, supporters and other stakeholders. The UEFA Executive Committee approved, in April and May 2022, the modernised UEFA club licensing and financial sustainability regulatory framework. Two sets of regulations govern club licensing for UEFA competitions:

UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Sustainability Regulations (2022), applicable to UEFA men’s club competitions

UEFA Club Licensing Regulations for the UEFA Women’s Champions League (2022), applicable to the UEFA Women’s Champions League

Andrea Traverso, director, UEFA Financial Sustainability and Research

"The presence of representatives from 55 different countries is key to tackle the challenges of the future. We hope the event will foster the implementation of consistent approaches and regulations, aimed at promoting financial sustainability across all European territories."

Gabriele Gravina, FIGC president and chair of the UEFA Club Licensing Committee

"We are particularly happy and proud to host this important workshop in Italy. The event encourages the exchange of ideas and is important to support the implementation of the regulatory framework, which contributes to the solvency, sustainability and stability of European football."

The workshop featured presentations from both UEFA, the FIGC and several Italian clubs, including AC Milan, AS Roma and US Sassuolo Calcio. Throughout the event, speakers touched on the important support to women’s football, with a case study from the Football Association of Wales (FAW), which highlighted the role of club licensing as a tool to drive the development and professionalisation of the game.

Muhammad Sidat, head of professional football, Confederation of African Football (CAF)

"It's always important to be here, to be able to benchmark and to learn and share experiences between member associations and the different football confederations."

Another key aspect addressed during the workshop was the UEFA Football Sustainability Strategy and the implementation of the new football social responsibility chapter in the UEFA Club Licensing Regulations, which are built around human rights and the protection of the environment. AS Roma and AC Milan both shared details of their sustainability initiatives, strengthening the collaboration and exchange of views between stakeholders.

Brian Walker, vice-president, AS Roma

"Club licensing is critical to a club as we develop our sustainability strategies as it gives us the guidelines we need to adhere to. Licensing is important because it allows all clubs to have the same framework, so when we talk about sustainability in a European football context, we are all speaking the same language."

UEFA head of club licensing, Aleš Zavrl, closed the workshop by summarising the importance of the forum as an opportunity to exchange and discuss the frameworks and initiatives with all stakeholders to ensure stability and protect the sustainability of European football.