Real Financial Fair Play 1.0

Our suggested draft for Real Financial Fair Play in European Football

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play is about fiscal responsibility. It should be applauded. But real fairness will be achieved only with equal access to resources. In this proposal we at suggest a 5-point plan for Real Financial Fair Play in European Football. We would appreciate your suggestions on our facebook group.


The Plan:

I. Local media revenue

A country will not play in European competition if it does not have a collective broadcast deal in it’s top division. This agreement will allow a maximum of 100% difference between payments to teams.

II. Proceeds from European Competition

TV revenues and prize money from European competition will be divided 1/3 to the participating teams and 2/3 between the other teams in the participants national top divisions.

III. Access to Markets

Countries may unite their top divisions in order to create a more significant consumer market for top division football.

IV. Youth development

Teams will pay a 6% “nurturing tax” on the salaries of players under 27. The money will be divided equally between teams responsible for the player’s development between the ages of 14 and 17.

V. Distribution of talent

Teams will be allowed to hold the registrations of a maximum of 25 players. Players younger than 21 and acquired before their 18th birthday will exempt from this clause.


The smaller print:

In drafting this proposal we followed one important guideline. The implementation of rules does not require scrutiny of the clubs’ financial reports. This will make such rules easy to implement and police. We also take the approach that Fair Play begins at home – in the national leagues.

Following is the rational behind each suggestion.

Local media revenues
Providing for fair competition is local leagues is the first step to a level playing field in the entire continent. Such a system increases revenue as proven by the Bundesliga example. This will ensure the commitment of the bigger clubs to the general welfare of football in their countries.

European competition revenue
In many countries European proceeds distort local competition. In large countries like England it has created an elite group of teams. In smaller countries a single Champions League participation can give one team an enormous advantage over local rivals.

Access to market
By uniting top divisions smaller countries will be able to create the consumer market necessary to create a league on par with the top 5-6 populated nations that currently dominate club football. Many of such leagues have natural historical or geographical basis. This is has been successful in other sports like Ice Hockey and Rugby.

Examples: Scandinavian League, Danubian League, Celtic League, Balkan League, Benelux League, Baltic League or Iberian League. In pre-WWII time such a middle European League created a golden age in Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other relatively small countries.

Youth development

This will ensure the professional level funds the future development of the game and that academies are a sustainable business for small clubs. With the nurturing expense capped and gradual it will also reduce the incentive of larger clubs to acquire players at a very young age.

Distribution of talent
This will prevent big teams from holding on to massive pools of talent. It will prevent situations where top international players are merely squad players at the larger clubs rather than starring for medium clubs.

11 Trackbacks

  1. [...] ransfer market is opening up soon and the search for suckers is bigger than ever. Clubs, under pressure to live within means, look for someone to buy their goods and damaged goods. Many clubs in England are stuck with [...]

  2. [...] the Financial Fair Play age just around the corner, it is hoped that the wages inflation will calm down – but [...]

  3. [...] the financial fair play era looming, clubs are on the look for new income streams. “Old” income streams are [...]

  4. [...] the financial fair play looming and income from Champions League TV and sponsorship looks like going stale, it might be [...]

  5. [...] good for European football? On one hand they inflate market prices – though one hopes that Financial Fair Play will reduce inflation. On the other hand, they turn modest or underachieving clubs into real [...]

  6. [...] are many possible solutions to deal with the widening financial gaps. I have suggested my own. Others may include a European League or obligatory fan shareholding. All have pros and cons. The [...]

  7. [...] the simple. Don’t use readily available HD video evidence. Don’t go for proper revenue sharing or giving impetus to player contracts. Hey, it works in America, so let’s avoid [...]

  8. [...] bank accounts of players, referees and coaches should be audited at least once a year. As part of Financial Fair Play, clubs need to go through an audit process twice a year to see if their books comply with FFP [...]

  9. [...] – competition to United from external money – like City or Chelsea – If Financial Fair Play becomes a lame [...]

  10. [...] Financial Fair Play, salary caps, luxury tax and revenue sharing are legitimate ideas in sports-economics because they protect the competition and help the fight against monopolies. In “real world economics”, these are considered “communist ideas”. On the other hand, In the “real world” they say “greed is good”, while in the sports economy greed is frowned upon (see Ashley Cole). [...]

  11. [...] should force private investors to be smart with their money. The investment in infrastructure usually pays off. WHAT TO DO NOW? Post a comment or leave a [...]

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