Financial Fair Play has been used to punish clubs for overspending before, and now it could also affect clubs with large debt.
Clubs such as Manchester United and Barcelona could be punished for the massive amounts of debt they have collected, even though neither team has breached previous Financial Fair Play rules.
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both received record fines of nearly $80 million last season for spending more than the club earned. FFP rules were put into place to prevent this type of overspending in an effort to help clubs maintain financial stability.
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However, UEFA will look into expanding FFP rules to include punishing teams that have accumulated massive debts.
Manchester United are currently in over $500 million of debt but have not received any sanctions from UEFA, which angered Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
We have zero debt. We don’t pay a penny to service any debt. For me, that is a sustainable model. However, our friends at UEFA seem to believe otherwise. They have their view, we have ours.”
While City may be upset over the ruling in their case, general secretary of UEFA Gianni Infantino said the first cycle of FFP has been a great success, citing a drop in money owed from clubs from $92 million to $15 million.
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It will be tough for UEFA to reach a decision that keeps both parties happy. Handing out fines to clubs with massive debt doesn’t make sense, so UEFA would have to implement roster restrictions as punishment. Manchester City’s sanctions required fewer players on their Champions League roster and stricter homegrown player policies.
Amendments to Financial Fair Play will be discussed later this year at a UEFA meeting in Switzerland.