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Financial Fair Play is working


Financial Fair Play is creating a positive turn-around in European club football finances, a fact revealed at the latest UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play workshop.

The workshop heard encouraging news about Financial Fair Play
The workshop heard encouraging news about Financial Fair Play ©Domenic Aquilina

Financial Fair Play's continued success is proved by encouraging figures revealed at the latest UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Workshop in Malta.

Around 160 licensing and financial experts from across Europe and the world were told that the latest UEFA research confirms the turn-around in the finances of European club football.

A detailed review of over 700 clubs indicates that combined club losses have decreased for the fourth consecutive year, and now stand at just over €320m.

Figures indicate that the number of European countries reporting a net profit position among their clubs has increased steeply from 15 in 2014 to 25 in 2015. Today, around 46 top divisions are break-even or profitable in their entirety.

Other evidence demonstrating the strong effect of Financial Fair Play are declines in overdue payables from €57m in 2011 to just over €5m as of 30 June 2016 (a decrease of nearly 92%), and the reduction of disputed and deferred payments to players (down almost 72% and 37% respectively between June 2014 and June 2016).

The Malta Football Association (MFA) hosted representatives from UEFA, its 55 member associations and participants from the AFC, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL confederations for the 14th edition of the workshop, which addressed a wealth of current licensing challenges and financial trends.

"We live in a scenario of European football which changes from time to time, and your contribution is appreciated," MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo told the audience. "At the end of the day, we are all on the good side, because we are here for the good of European football."

This year's gathering also focussed on how club licensing can support women's and youth football, as well as influence long-term decision-making within club administration and management.

UEFA Club Licensing Committee chairman and UEFA Executive Committee member David Gill welcomed the future focus on football development. "We should not rest on our laurels," he said, "but always strive to improve the system and develop it further, especially in areas such as women's and youth football, whereby I firmly believe the system can contribute significantly to their development."

The workshop featured panel discussions to gather feedback and support from UEFA's member associations on how to improve the two development areas in the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Delegates agreed that, in the space of relatively few seasons, Financial Fair Play has succeeded in meeting all objectives set out in 2010, the legality of which have been recognised several times by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne – a result that would not have been achieved without the constant hard work and support of licensing managers and experts across UEFA's member associations.

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