Financial Fair Play flourishing - UEFA workshop

UEFA's annual Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play workshop heard how Financial Fair Play is restoring stability to European club football - a fact borne out by recent UEFA figures.

UEFA vice-president and Club Licensing Committee chairman Michele Uva addresses the workshop
UEFA vice-president and Club Licensing Committee chairman Michele Uva addresses the workshop ©UEFA

Financial Fair Play is continuing to keep the financial stability and performance of clubs across Europe moving forward positively - the message from the latest UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Annual Workshop, hosted in Antalya by UEFA in conjunction with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

Representatives from UEFA and its 55 member associations, and guests from the world football body FIFA, the confederations of Asia (AFC), Africa (CAF), and North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) and partner organisations, heard that Financial Fair Play was continuing to have a profound effect on the financial well-being of European club football.

Recent figures compiled by UEFA’s financial sustainability & research division, analysing the finances of 718 first-division clubs in Europe, and which cover the period up to and including December 2017, show that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations have made European football finances stronger than ever before.

At the Turkey workshop, over 160 licensing and financial experts from across Europe were presented with the latest figures – and were encouraged to hear the positive trends.

UEFA vice-president and Club Licensing Committee chairman Michele Uva emphasised that “this last year has also seen a key landmark reached that illustrates the success of Financial Fair Play - with financial figures for 2017 showing for the first time on record that European top-division club football was profitable, with six consecutive years of improvement having turned combined club losses of €1.7bn in 2011 into profits of €600m.”

UEFA’s head of club licensing, Aleš Zavrl, reminded participants that “protection of the game has, and continues to be a very important part of UEFA’s intentions to safeguard European football, with club licensing and Financial Fair Play recognised as one of the most strategically important pillars to achieve long-term sustainability.”

As always, this year’s gathering provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and exchange of best practice between the various participants. With that in mind, a number of national associations were invited to showcase club licensing-related initiatives they have introduced at domestic level, and how they could be used to improve governance and management at both league and club levels.

Delegates present at the workshop were also invited to join a number of group discussions where they could discuss several topics, such as youth development evaluation systems or infrastructure assessment, in order to provide new ideas and receive advice on how they can apply these practices once they returned to their home associations.

Additionally, the workshop focused on the implementation of the new edition of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations that entered into force in June 2018, following the UEFA Executive Committee’s approval of the amended document at its meeting in Kyiv in May. 

These new regulations aim to keep raising standards at European club level, and were the result of an extensive year-long review and consultation process that involved not only UEFA, but also its member associations, the European Club Association (ECA), European Leagues, the players’ body FIFPro Division Europe, and other stakeholders.

UEFA’s focus is now to assist and guide its member associations in implementing its new and updated provisions, such as the introduction of a club licensing system for women’s football, in order to improve and better safeguard the European club footballing landscape in the future.