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UEFA tempts investors with new financial rules


UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino speaks during the Europa League quarter-final draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

PRAGUE, June 30 – UEFA has presented new financial fair play rules easing restrictions on clubs in a bid to tempt investors after a tough three-year campaign to cut sky-high debt in the European game.

With Gulf state-owned Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain still feeling the pain of sanctions ordered last year, UEFA’s executive eased the rules at a meeting in Prague on Monday.

They will force clubs to give extra information on ownership but will also start new voluntary financial revival plans to allow clubs to avoid sanctions and to spend on players if they have a “plausible and conservative” business plan.

The new UEFA rules are clearly intended to attract investors.

Since the introduction of Financial Fair Play in 2011 clubs have basically been ordered to live within their means.

UEFA says that European clubs’ overall debt has been cut from 1.7 billion euros ($1.89 billion) in 2011 to 487 million euros in 2014.

UEFA president Michel Platini insisted that the new fair play is “an expansion and a strengthening” of the rules.

“The overall objectives of financial fair play remain the same. We are just evolving from a period of austerity to one where we can offer more opportunities for sustainable growth and development,” he said.

But UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino acknowledged legal challenges made against the rules and doubts raised by some clubs about the restrictions.

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“This is what we were hearing: ‘Why should we invest if it’s forbidden. If I invest I am in breach (of fair play and) there are consequences,’” Infantino said after the executive committee approved the new rules.

– Bring back investors –

“We are sure that these new rules will encourage investors to invest in European football because European football is the best product in the world when it comes to club football.”

Manchester City, owned by an Abu Dhabi state entity, and Paris St Germain, controlled by a Qatar government entity, both recorded losses of more than 100 million euros ($110 million) in some seasons, leading to questions about how debts are covered.

UEFA in particular said that a backdated 200 million euro sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Office was not market value and a secret subsidy.

In future, any sponsor that gives more than 30 percent of a club’s revenue’s will be considered a “related party” to the club.

In the past two years, UEFA has had fair play plans with 23 clubs including City, Paris St Germain, Inter Milan, AS Roma and Sporting Lisbon. Dynamo Moscow have been banned from European competition next year while others have faced huge fines.

Four clubs have already left their fair play plans though and UEFA said it did not anticipate any new major cases.

The fair play rules have faced a legal challenge from Manchester City and Paris fans who got a Brussels court to block the implementation of a new phase of the existing rules.

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UEFA’s legal counsel Alasdair Bell said however the governing body was confident the ruling would be overturned. The fans and a players’ agent want to stop UEFA reducing the permitted deficit from 45 million euros to 30 million euros.

Infantino insisted that fair play has been a success and “is really in the head of everyone: of every club manager, every coach, the players, the agents, everyone.”

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  1. Ngandu Mwangi

    July 1, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Police Boss- Itere Should Go home.The guy is sleeping on the job and he will come up with the same story we hear from him everyday.

    • w33_dx

      July 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Ma mboys are working on it, we mananged to recover svero bondies. we are pursuing the assailants…………..just like our national soccer team, you dont perform yet you keep your job. Oh, has the head of state given a statement yet?! Sina aerial to follow up the saga. Iteere, sir, your job…….sorry we cant keep you any more.

  2. mamayo

    July 1, 2012 at 9:20 am

    May those killed RIP. May the lord give the killers double punishment

  3. Jane Kiragu

    July 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This is really sad…God protect your people n let the responsible be accountable to your eyes..

  4. adthumayne

    July 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

    why kent sent troops to somalia while internal security is very bad,

  5. upuzi_tele

    July 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

    the signs of a failed state. That happens when you have a useless president and a useless Police commissioner. Where is mama lucy to take over from this coward pretending to be a president??

  6. Jimbo la Rware

    July 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    How come non

  7. KamauGatwechi

    July 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Its sad that none of the politicians has visited the site, None has so far issued a statement about the grenade attack, when two politicians killed in a chopper crash everything came to a standstill when 17 Kenyans die no one even bothers to set up a commission of inquiry, when a politicians voices concern about their security they are given Police officers security round the clock.

    Why do we still give the current crop of politicians nafasi katika maisha?

  8. duncan

    July 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Why attack churches those car-wards we all ready know what kind of conflict they want, but GOD is on our side, will change not even Somali but the world. devil is defeated Jesus is Our king, we send Holy Ghost fire to those how ARE FIGHTING the BODY of Christ

  9. Kwessi Pratt

    July 2, 2012 at 8:02 am

    May be we should explore whether there is a third force in all this? The sort of attacks that have taken place hardly point to presence our military in Somalia. Perhaps, home-grown groups might be taking advantage of al-shaabab aspect to spread terror? Kenyans should condemn these acts of terror in the strongest terms possible. May be we should establish suspect laws that would be used to take charge of the situation. Anyone suspected to be dangerous should be quickly detained. Detention period should be 3 weeks or longer, to afford comprehensive investigations. Terror suspects should never be released while their cases are ongoing. Fighting terror is being reduced to child’s play by impotent laws. Our civil society groups should also lay off when it comes to terror matters. The country MUST COME FIRST!

  10. Papaa Mike

    July 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    This is quite stupid of those who hate Christians to keep attacking faithfuls while they are worshiping. Its quite unfortunate that it is mostly churches that are targeted. In deed God will punish you terrorists as your deeds deserve, declares the LORD, “I will
    kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you.” Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done done.

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