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UEFA has published its new Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, in which the requirements and criteria are laid down for the implementation and functioning of UEFA's financial fair play measures aimed at improving European club football's overall well-being.
The UEFA Executive Committee approved the regulations unanimously at its meeting in Nyon last month. The regulations (which can be accessed on UEFA.com) have been drawn up in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the major stakeholders in the European game. Financial discipline is an essential element of the measures which, among other things, seek to curb the spiralling transfer fees, player salaries and other outgoings that have endangered European club football for some years now.
A phased implementation period will be undertaken over three years, and the main component of the regulations – the 'break-even' requirement – will come into force for financial statements in the reporting period ending 2012, to be assessed during the 2013/14 UEFA club competition season. Initial sanctions against clubs who do not fulfil the break-even requirement can be taken in the 2013/14 season, on the basis of financial information from the two previous campaigns.
Under the break-even requirement, clubs may not spend more than the income they generate. Clubs will also be assessed on a risk basis, in which debt and salary levels are taken into consideration. They will have to ensure that liabilities are paid in a punctual manner. The regulations and criteria laid down are also designed to help stimulate long-term planning for areas such as youth development and improving/upgrading sports installations.
"We have worked on the financial fair play concept hand-in-hand with the clubs, as our intention is not to punish them but to protect them," said UEFA president Michel Platini after last month's Executive Committee approval of the regulations. "This approval [...] is the start of an important journey for European football's club finances as we begin to put stability and economic common sense back into football. I thank all the stakeholders who have supported this along the way."
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