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SBD Global/September 26, 2012/International Football

Platini, UEFA Proving Their Quest For Financial Stability Is More Than Words

UEFA President Michel Platini's tenure will "probably be defined by his Financial Fair Play legacy," according to Graham Ruthven of the N.Y. TIMES. Platini said, “We are never going back on this. We wanted to revolutionize European football when we first introduced this idea.” Since Platini's defiant rally three weeks ago, UEFA has "finally started to show there is more to their drive for financial sustainability" in European football than words. Twenty-three clubs have had their prize money from last season’s European competitions withheld "until they can explain why they have failed to fulfill their financial responsibilities." In simple terms, FFP "limits the number of year-on-year losses a club can sustain." The idea is to force European football into "a self-sustaining business model, both on and off the field." It seems those likely to fall afoul of FFP rules have "already started to find ways of undermining them." Paris St. Germain, owned by the state-operated Qatar Investment Authority, who lavished almost $200M on the playing squad over the summer, is set to strike a $130M shirt sponsorship deal with a Qatari bank, "significantly helping to offset the club’s balance sheet" against the FFP regulations. Many also point to the lucrative sponsorship deal reached between Man City and Etihad, an Abu Dhabi-based airline that conveniently happens to be owned by club Owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan. Platini’s FFP regulations were "supposed to guard against this sort of financial trickery," detailing that sponsorship deals would be “benchmarked” to assess their validity (N.Y. TIMES, 9/24).
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