LAUSANNE: Turkish club Bursaspor have struck a blow against UEFA’s financial fair play concept with a qualified victory against the European federation in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS creates no precedents in terms of the Financial Fair Play regulations which enter into effect formally this year and which are designed to bring about financial stability within the upper level of the European club game.

However, once UEFA punishments for infringement of FFP start to bite, CAS could become clogged up with appeals – which could create all sorts of chaos in terms of the smooth running of both the Champions League and the Europa League.

Bursaspor had qualified for next season’s Europa League through finishing fifth in the Turkish championship play-offs.

However, a year earlier UEFA’s club financial control panel had indicated that Bursaspor’s European participation should be put in doubt because the club owed E300,000 in transfer fees.

UEFA’s own disciplinary and appeals bodies disagreed over how to deal with Bursaspor, which sent out a confused enough message over FFP in the first place. Ultimately the appeals board barred Bursaspor from European competition and imposed a suspended E50,000 fine.

Bursaspor appealed to CAS which, after a mutually-agreed fast-track hearing, upped the fine to E250,000 but suspended the competition ban for three years. Bursaspor can thus play in the Europa League next season though which other Turkish clubs may also compete in Europe remains uncertain because of fallout from the domestic matchfix saga.

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