NYON: Michel Platini has insisted that no major changes are planned for UEFA’s financial fair play regulations after speculation he promoted with a suggestion of an imminent “relaxation” of the rules writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The French president of the European football federation had set a transfer cat among the financial pigeons with comments to French broadcaster which were seized on by many managers, agents and media.
Some critics had even speculated that Platini’s words would lead to a hiatus in summer transfer dealings until after UEFA’s executive committee decides on amendments to FFP at its meeting at the end of next month.
In the following question-and-answer interview published on the UEFA website, Platini was much more circumspect. He did confirm, however, that the success of FFP is allowing the European club game to emerge from the age of austerity.
Have you changed the approach in relation to financial fair play?
Platini: No. Clubs need to continue to live within their means. We have been in a long consultation process which has taken into account views from all stakeholders. The conclusions are that everyone wants financial fair play to stay. The objective of financial fair play remains the same, we have just been working on moving from a period of austerity to one where we can offer more opportunities for sustainable growth.
What has financial fair play brought to European football?
Platini: Financial fair play has led to a dramatic improvement in club finances and has restored business credibility in our sport. When we began this process, financial losses stood at €1.7bn per year, but now it is in the €400m-€500m range. In a short period of time, financial fair play is achieving what it set out to do: restore the financial health of European football and put clubs on a much better and more solid financial foundation.
How long has the process taken?
Platini: We are constantly in discussions with our stakeholders. This is part of the UEFA governance model. However, I’d say the process kicked off in earnest as early as 2013, under the auspices of the Club Licensing Committee chaired by David Gill, with consultation involving all relevant stakeholders with the support of the UEFA administration.
What is the future for financial fair play?
Platini: Financial fair play is here to stay. Over the past three years, the Club Financial Control Body has learned substantially from the process, and now the proposed changes to the regulations will build on the successes achieved whilst adapting to changed, and improved, economic circumstances. The overall objective remains the same: to provide a regulatory environment which supports clubs in creating sustainable growth for the long term, while maintaining financial stability.
Is it normal for regulations to be updated?
Platini: It is entirely normal for regulations to be updated. In fact, it would be abnormal if regulations never changed! Updates and adaptations are part of the regular life cycle of European football regulations. These regulations came into being in 2010 and were already updated in 2012.
What effect will the regulations have on the existing settlement agreements?
Platini: The existing settlements will remain in force. The sporting restrictions and financial contributions, therefore, will not be affected.