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Financial Fair Play (FFP)

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Financial fair play rules to be eased

Michel Platini has announced plans to relax some aspects of the financial fair play (FFP) regulations with the aim of stimulating competition and growth.   The rules have been criticised for making it harder for new entrants to breach the elite cartel of top European clubs.

QPR go to law

Queens Park Rangers have challenged the legality of the Football League's financial fair play (FFP) rules. With the Football League they have issued a joint statement to confirm that legal proceedings are under way, but shielded from the glare of publicity in the courts.

Could QPR face a huge fine?

To compound their misery at relegation from the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers face the prospect of a fine in excess of £50m for breach of financial fair play regulations.   They could even be expelled from professional football.

The gap with the super elite gets wider

The gap between the super elite of European clubs and the next tier is getting wider.   Clubs like Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Southampton have enjoyed success through good management and smart player acquisitions, but sustaining that success is difficult.

'Transformative moment' for Premier League

Premier League clubs have made their first collective profit for 15 years.  Dan Jones, a partner at Deloitte's authoritative Sports Business Group, hailed the news as a 'transformative moment'.  It showed that the Premier League could keep a grip on costs while still attracting top players.   He commented, 'You can still afford to compete on talent and still have money left at the bottom line.'

Clubs turn to learned counsel

We have often commented on the growing number of sports lawyers for whom football is an important and potentially lucrative area of work.   EU competition law is also highly relevant and it is often forgotten that the way in which Premier League television rights are sold in seven packages was a formula devised to satisfy the European Commission after an investigation.

Points deduction for not sorting out finances

The Dutch football authorities have deduced FC Twente three points for failing to make progress on required financial reforms.

One wonders if this could be used more widely given that fines are not a big constraint for wealthy clubs and even transfer embargoes or squad restrictions have their limitations.   It could, of course, only be applied at a domestic level.

Leicester in FFP talks

Leicester City are bottom of the Premier League and increasingly look unlikely to escape relegation.  Now they face the additional problems of talks with the Football League about their £20.8m loss in the last financial year and whether it represents a breach of financial fair play rules.

From the League's perspective it is in excess of the £8m permissible loss, but Leicester consider that £13m of the losses are due to the costs of promotion.   They have also reduced losses from £34m in the year ending May 2013.

QPR report substantially reduced losses

QPR have reported substantially reduced losses for the last financial year.   They are down to £9.8m in contrast to a massive £65.4m in the year ending May 2013.  Expenditure is down £22m, largely due to lower player costs.   Shareholders have also written off £60m in loans.

The club has faced difficulties over compliance with financial fair play rules, but these results should help their position.  

Big shirt sponsorship deal for Chelsea

Chelsea have secured the second biggest shirt sponsorship deal in English football history.   They have agreed a contract worth £40m a year with the Yokohama Rubber Company to start next season.  The club regards it as another important step towards being self-financing and compliant with financial fair play rules.