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Financial fair play and licensing review

The UEFA Compliance and Investigation Activity Report 2017-2019 looks back at two intensive years of club licensing and financial fair play monitoring activities – and highlights positive financial trends in European club football.

Financial fair play and licensing review
Financial fair play and licensing review ©UEFA

The UEFA compliance and investigation activity report 2017-2019, published this week and available here on UEFA.com, reviews another two seasons of club licensing and financial fair play monitoring by UEFA.

The fifth edition of this comprehensive report reviews in detail the monitoring activities of the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) with regard to UEFA's club licensing system and financial fair play for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.

"We hope that this fifth UEFA club licensing and financial fair play bulletin provides useful insights into the compliance and monitoring of the last two seasons (2017/18 and 2018/19),” says Pablo Rodriguez, UEFA’s head of financial monitoring and compliance, in the introduction to the report, “and further contributes to the drive for increased transparency in European club football.”

Positive financial developments

In particular, the report highlights the positive financial trends in European club football:.

• Overdue payables monitored over the last two seasons continued to decrease significantly, achieving their lowest level recorded since the introduction of these requirements in 2011 with regard to the clubs taking part in the UEFA club competitions.

• The net break-even position of the clubs subject to the break-even requirement in 2018/19 has shown consecutive growth since 2016, and more than 50% of the clubs monitored demonstrated a positive break-even result.

Club Licensing

During the period under review, fifteen licensors were assessed against their regulatory obligations in respect of the UEFA club licensing system, and four of them were subject to further investigations, which led to the conclusion of the first settlement agreements with licensors, and to financial measures being imposed.

The four clubs that were incorrectly granted a licence by the above-mentioned licensors were also sanctioned, as a minimum, with a financial measure equivalent to the UEFA prize money they had gained by unduly participating in UEFA competitions.

The 2018/19 season was the first in which exceptions related to the three-year rule as defined in the club licensing provisions were assessed and decided by the CFCB Investigatory Chamber. The latter took ten decisions; eight clubs were granted an exception, and two others were denied such an exception.

Financial Fair Play

Over the last two seasons, 11 clubs were assessed via on-site compliance audits with regard to the fulfilment of the financial fair play requirements, and eight clubs were subject to an investigation by the CFCB Investigatory Chamber.

In the majority of cases, a settlement agreement was concluded with the Investigatory Chamber, with the objective to become break-even compliant in the short term.

Altogether, a total of 17 clubs were under settlement regime, and were closely monitored by the CFBC Investigatory Chamber during the period under review.

All clubs under settlement were subject to financial and sporting measures related to their participation in UEFA competitions. Satisfactorily, eight clubs out of the 17 complied with the overall objectives of their settlement agreements and successfully exited the settlement regime. These positive outcomes contributed to an overall improvement of the break-even position for those clubs under settlement.