UEFA show intentions of financial fair play as 23 European clubs are withheld prize money
UEFA have refused to distribute 23 clubs’ share of last year’s prize money because of a breach of regulations against the financial fair play rules.
Sides such as Spanish powerhouses Málaga, Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, Turkish heavyweights Fenerbahçe, and last season’s Europa League winners, Atlético Madrid, are all included in the list.
The reason behind the withholding of prize money is the respective clubs’ failure to pay off any outstanding debts to their staff members or other teams, or any unpaid tax bills. The sanction comes in after the start of UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules had come into action.
The acts now put into action by UEFA demonstrate how seriously the governing body is taking the idea of FFP, and the punishment for the breaking of the new rules will remain in place until the clubs have paid off their debts and provided an update to UEFA by the end of the month.
Whilst the FFP guidelines have been introduced as a way to stop clubs’ finances going out of control, the full guidelines will not come into force until 2014, where then the European governing bodies could then take punishments as far as exclusion from the European competition.
The former Belgian Prime Minister and now chairman of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), Jean-Luc Dehaene, stated:
“I am still very worried about the current situation.
“The Financial Fair Play Regulations are known for more than two years, but I have the impression that some clubs still need to do their homework.”
Derek Baker, football correspondent