It may be hard to beat some of the big name clubs in Europe on the pitch, but some face their biggest challenge off of it.
UEFA have announced that they could be extending their Financial Fair Play regulations to punish clubs that are heavily in debt, with changes set to be discussed next week.
At the moment clubs are required to approach break even on football related business, a failure to see them do so results in punishment, as Manchester City, and Paris St Germain found out; tow clubs where the wealthy owners cover the heavy losses made by the clubs.
This new stance would hurst the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United who currently both have big liabilities that could fall under debt-level restrictions under the Financial Fair Play regulations. Barcelona’s debt was recently published as being EUR287million and Manchester United’s EUR342million; the latter a result of the 2005 leveraged takeover of the club.
What currently assists both of these clubs to finance their debt, are strong commercial operations.
According to UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, “We are now focused on losses, and to repay the debt is part of the loss that the club can make at the end of the season.”
This is expected to be the major talking point on Monday when the clubs meet with UEFA, and many believe that the top clubs will garner little support some from of the other top teams from lesser leagues as they seek a more even playing field in the transfer market. Will this be the start of players wages and transfer fees coming down? The experts say “no,” but believe that it will make clubs a little more careful when buying big name players, and wanting to be sure that the said player is involved in first team football.