KEIR RADNEDGE ANALYSIS: UEFA’s punishment of Manchester City for breaching accounting rules will doubtless reveal, among other issues, a high level of ignorance about financial fair play.
FFP was the brainchild of Michel Platini during his effective presidency of European governing body UEFA between 2007 and 2015.
Platini’s concern – fully endorsed by then general secretary Gianni Infantino, now FIFA’s president – was that European clubs were paying more than earned in players’ wages and transfer fees.
Hence UEFA set up a system which demanded that all clubs competing in its competitions should be able to produce balanced, audited accounts.
A point misunderstood is that applies only to clubs who do or want to compete in UEFA’s competitions.
City have previous, having already been punished for a previous breach.
It was only from the 2014-15 season that UEFA awarded itsef power to impose suspensions and competition bars on clubs judged guilty of not responding to the FFP warnings.
The European Commission, in 2012, had agreed that FFP was in line with EU state aid policy. A year later the English Premier League introducd its own, less stringest, version of FFP.
Domestic football will wait to see whether the EPL calls in City’s accounts for re-examination.
Many officials and observers in the continental game have long complained that UEFA was happy to punish small clubs from medium-sized and small countries but not the big-spending giants.
A case against Qatar-backed Paris Saint-Germain failed on a regulatory technicality.
This made UEFA officials all the more careful to ensure that they had all i’s dotted and t’s crossed in the case of Manchester City, a club with wealthy UAE owners and a worldwide network of clubs.