UEFA's financial fair play regulations are already having a positive effect on the finances of Europe's clubs, according to UEFA's latest benchmarking report.
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino unveiled some key findings from the report, to be published in September, at the UEFA President's annual media breakfast in Monaco on Friday morning. The report demonstrates that financial fair play is already having a significant influence and UEFA's latest figures show that there has been a €600m reduction in the aggregate losses of Europe's first division clubs in the last financial year, after six years of increasing losses.
Mr Infantino said: "The reduction in aggregate losses of €600m is a decrease of 36% in one year. Why has this reduction in losses come in one year suddenly? Of course, because of the introduction of the financial fair play rules but also because this year is the first year that will be looked into in detail in terms of the break-even result, so the majority of clubs have really paid attention and are moving in the right direction. I think this reduction in only one year really shows concretely the effects of financial fair play."
The General Secretary added: "The success of financial fair play will not be measured by how many clubs are excluded from UEFA competitions because any club excluded is a defeat for Europe in general. The success of financial fair play will be determined by concrete facts and figures."
The UEFA President Michel Platini stated: "Financial fair play is not a unilateral initiative of the UEFA President but a joint effort by all of European football, the clubs, leagues and associations, and also the political entities in Europe. It is an initiative designed to regulate the financial system in football after years of increasingly huge losses. We do not want to kill the clubs; we want to work together and create a healthy and sustainable environment for clubs and for European football. And as we can see from these figures, it is working well."
Other key figures in the report also illustrate the positive effect that financial fair play and club licensing are having on European football finances. For first time since records began in 2006, revenue growth (6.9%) has outpaced wage growth (6.5%). In addition, overdue payables (the money owed to other clubs, players and in taxes) have reduced from €57m in 2011 to €9m in summer 2013 following a series of punishments for clubs in breach of the rules. The €9m of overdue payables on 30 June 2013 represents a 70% decrease on the €30m figure for 2012.
The full benchmarking report will be published at the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Dubrovnik on 20 September.
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