UEFA entertaining Financial Fair Play relaxation amid coronavirus difficulties

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With clubs around Europe impacted financially by the coronavirus shutdown, UEFA is considering changes to its Financial Fair Play rules to accommodate those that cannot meet the break-even standards required by the current guidelines.

With the current financial climate and some clubs struggling to maintain a balanced book, clubs may require owner investment to keep the businesses afloat.

“A working group has been set up to look at how club licensing/FFP might need to adapt to take account of the extraordinary challenges that clubs face, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” UEFA said to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “The situation is evolving fast and the working group is continuously monitoring the situation with the aim to come to a proposal in the coming weeks.”

Manchester City has been punished for previous Financial Fair Play rules after owner Sheikh Mansour allegedly covered up an injection of cash into the club as sponsorship income. The AP report states that Man City’s case will not be impacted by any changes to FFP since the violations occurred between 2012 and 2016.

However, owner injections could be temporarily overlooked, according to long-standing FFP proponent Javier Tebas who is the president of the La Liga in Spain. “If those people want to invest a lot of money into football … to reduce the debt levels of clubs, well I think that would be studied and I think that could be possible,” Tebas said in the AP report.

UEFA has already pushed back its club licensing deadlines for the 2020/21 season since it is currently unclear when that season will officially begin.