Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester City, and West Ham have avoided UEFA financial fair play sanctions due to ‘extraordinary COVID deductions and assessment of prior financial results.’
UEFA has reached settlement agreements with eight clubs, totaling £149 million (€172 million) in financial contributions.
UEFA’s analysis covered the fiscal years 2018 to 2022, however clubs were subject to emergency Covid measures in 2020 and 2021, when spectators were generally barred from stadiums and TV deals were renegotiated. As a result, during these years, clubs were granted exemptions.
The Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) investigated the financial affairs of all clubs competing in the UEFA tournaments 2021-22.
The analysts determined that the English teams, along with Rangers, were in compliance because they ‘were able to technically achieve the break-even criterion due to the deployment of the COVID-19 emergency measures and/or because they benefited from prior positive break-even outcomes.’
UEFA noted in a statement, ‘The CFCB informed these clubs that these extraordinary COVID deductions and consideration of prior financial results will no longer be possible as of fiscal year 2023.’
These clubs have been asked for additional financial information and will be closely monitored in the next term. Of course, the goal in the future years is for the clubs’ total financial status to be in line with the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Sustainability Regulations – Edition 2022.’
UEFA’s FFP standards are tighter than those in the English Premier League. As of this summer, the allowable losses – or ‘acceptable deviation,’ as accountants call them – are just over £50 million (or 60 million Euros), compared to £105 million in the Premier League.
While the Premier League clubs escaped punishment, UEFA’s investigation had an impact, particularly on Leicester City.
Brendan Rodgers was reportedly advised that he could only invest a third of the £70 million sum earned from the sale of Wesley Fofana to Chelsea.
Leicester’s ability to sign new players was hampered by FFP rules and a 25% sell-on fee to Fofana’s previous club Saint-Etienne. However, at the close of the transfer window, the Foxes signed Reims centre-back Wout Faes, 24, to bolster their defensive ranks for £15 million.
Rodgers acknowledged the difficulties following the sale of Fofana.