Is FFP having an effect?

European football cuts losses by €600m

Despite another big spending transfer window coming to a close UEFA has praised its financial fair play (FFP) regulations following a €600 million reduction in the aggregate losses of Europe’s top division clubs in the last financial year.

Europe’s 725 top-tier clubs lost over €1 billion between them, compared to €1.7 billion in the previous year. The turnaround follows six years of increasing losses and comes with FFP rules, which dictate that clubs must not spend more than they generate through revenue, coming into full effect this season.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “The reduction in aggregate losses of €600 million is a decrease of 36 per cent in one year. Why has this reduction in losses suddenly come in one year? Of course, because of the introduction of the financial fair play rules, but also because this year is the first 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 concretely shows the effects of financial fair play.”

The figures come from UEFA’s latest benchmarking report, which will be published in full at an executive committee meeting on September 20. UEFA said that for the first time since records began in 2006, revenue growth of 6.9 per cent outpaced wage growth of 6.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, overdue payables – the money owed to other clubs, players and in taxes – dropped from €57 million in 2011 to €9 million in summer 2013, following a series of punishments for clubs in breach of the rules.

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