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Volume 6 No. 194

International Football

UEFA finalized the financial provisions related to the Euro 2012 tournament in order to confirm the payments to clubs for their contribution to the competition and national team football in general, during the '10-11 and '11-12 seasons. In total, 575 clubs will receive payments from UEFA in accordance with the renewed Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed between UEFA and the European Club Association in March. This represents a substantial increase in beneficiaries when compared to the distribution after Euro 2008, for which 180 clubs received payments. With €100M ($128.6M) available for Euro 2012, €40M ($51.4M) has been reserved for those clubs that released players for the qualifying matches, while the remaining €60M ($77.2M) has been distributed to the clubs that released players for the final tournament (UEFA).

The top six clubs benefiting from solidarity payments from Euro 2012:

Club Payment
Bayern Munich €3.1M ($4)
Real Madrid €3M ($3.9M)
FC Barcelona €2.2M ($2.8M)
Manchester City €2.1M ($2.7M)
Juventus FC
€2M ($2.6M)
FC Liverpool €2M ($2.6M)

The full list of the clubs and the total amount received by each club.

The UEFA Club Financial Control Body's investigatory chamber, chaired by former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, announced that 23 clubs involved in '12-13 UEFA club competitions have seen the payment of their prize money temporarily withheld pending further investigation. As part of the first measure of the financial fair play requirements included in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations 2012, the clubs participating in '12-13 UEFA club competitions had to provide information regarding the status of any overdue payables as of June 30. Following its last meeting in August, the CFCB investigatory chamber has identified that important overdue payables toward other clubs, and/or toward employees or social/tax authorities existed in 23 cases.

These cases involve the following 23 clubs:

Club Country
FK Borac Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina
FK Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina
FK Željezničar Bosnia and Herzegovina
PFC CSKA Sofia Bulgaria
HNK Hajduk Split Croatia
NK Osijek Croatia
Atlético Madrid Spain
Málaga FC Spain
Maccabi Netanya FC Israel
FK Shkendija 79 Republic of Macedonia
Floriana FC Malta
FK Budućnost Podgorica Montenegro
FK Rudar Pjevlja Montenegro
Ruch Chorzów Poland
Sporting CP Portugal
FC Dinamo Bucureşti Romania
FC Rapid Bucureşti Romania
FC Vaslui Romania
FC Rubin Kazan Russia
FK Partizan Serbia
FK Vojvodina Serbia
Eskişehirspor Turkey
Fenerbahçe SK Turkey

Consequently, the CFCB investigatory chamber will continue their investigations and request these clubs to provide an updated situation as of Sept. 30 with regards to overdue payables toward other clubs, employees and social/tax authorities (UEFA).

SOME BACKGROUND: REUTERS' Phillips & Homewood reported that the measures were announced as members of the European Clubs Association, which represents more than 200 clubs, "were warned at a meeting in Geneva that some of them were not taking the new rules seriously." ECA President and Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, "ECA members unanimously endorsed the financial fair play project back in 2010" (REUTERS, 9/11). METRO's Hannah Duncan wrote that while no EPL sides have currently been affected, this strict approach "could cause shockwaves through clubs including Manchester City and current European Champions Chelsea," who are both heavily financed by outside investors Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich (METRO, 9/11). In London, Matt Scott wrote that Atlético Madrid's failure to pay its share of €1.35B ($1.7B) in tax and social security debts Spanish football clubs owe to their government "has finally caught up with them." According to the Spanish daily El País, Atlético Madrid is paying 4.5% interest on the outstanding €115M ($147.9M) it owes Spain’s treasury, amounting to an annual payment of €15M ($19.3M) (TELEGRAPH, 9/11). ESPN's Harry Harris reported that UEFA will impose "sanctions including withholding TV money and suspending players from clubs failing to comply with the regulations." A source said the developments showed that UEFA President Michel Platini was "doing exactly what he told us all he would do." The source said, "Firstly it is withholding prize money, next it will withhold TV money, then it will be suspensions of players bought in the transfer window going back a year. Finally, UEFA will implement even sterner punishments, perhaps culminating in elimination from the European competitions for clubs who make losses [beyond the specified limits]" (ESPN, 9/11).

The Gazetta dello Sport reported the the clubs of Italian's top football league, Serie A, will spend "a combined €1.04B ($1.1B) on player wages in the '12-13 season," according to the DPA. On top of the list sits AC Milan, which has a player payroll of €120M ($192.8M), followed by defending champion Juventus FC (€115M/$184.8M), Inter Milan (€100M/$160.7M), AS Roma (€95M/$152.7M) and Lazio (€66.2M/106.4M). The "highest-paid players" are Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma) and Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) who each net €6M ($9.6M) annually. The club with the lowest payroll of €10M ($16.1M) is "newly promoted Pescara." Last season, Serie A clubs "spent even more on player wages, a combined total of €1.1M." The drop in player payroll "is mainly caused" by both Milan clubs, AC and Inter, which reduced their payrolls by €60M ($96.4M) and €40M ($64.3M), respectively (DPA, 9/11).

Real Madrid will "activate the renewal" of Cristiano Ronaldo's contract, according to MARCA. Real Madrid President Florentino Perez "has decided to resolve the crisis immediately" and rework the player's deal to keep him at Madrid for life. The club will offer a "substantially improved contract" with the objective of getting a deal done as soon as possible. Exact terms of the deal "have not been defined," but the club will make a big economic effort to satisfy the Portuguese striker, who reportedly wants a net salary of €15M ($19.3M) annually (MARCA, 9/11). In Madrid, Jose Luis Calderon reported that an agreement on a new deal between the two sides "will not be made public until the end of the season." Both Real Madrid management and Ronaldo agree that after recent events a renewal "could be misinterpreted." The club would be accused of "yielding to pressure" from the player and the striker of "forcing the action." A new contract will be a "huge sacrifice" by Real Madrid since in a year and a half the player's preferential tax treatment will come to an end, "meaning that his tax contribution will double up to 52%" (MARCA, 9/11). In Barcelona, Ferran Martinez wrote that Ronaldo's sadness "will end when he returns to Madrid" from his trip with the Portuguese national team. Perez and Head Coach José Mourinho will be waiting to offer him a new contract (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 9/11).

Chile's Vice President Rodrigo Hinzpeter Monday announced a new law that "applies stiff penalties against violence" at football stadiums, according to XINHUA. Hinzpeter enacted the law that "makes it mandatory for a public prosecutor to be present at a match, and holds team owners responsible for acts of vandalism and violence, among other measures." Hinzpeter said that the government "has also created a special police division in charge of security at stadiums." He said: ""This is the first time in the history of Chile that we will have a special high police official in charge of security at stadiums." Hinzpeter added the new law also "prohibits ticket scalping and fixes specific penalties for those who commit violence, including being banned for life from entering a stadium" during a football match (XINHUA, 9/10).

Russian Local Organizing Committee Chair Vitaly Mutko revealed that the country "will drop two of 13 cities" bidding to stage matches for the 2018 World Cup, according to REUTERS. The cities of Saransk, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad and Rostov are "the most under threat." Mutko, who is also Russia's Sports Minister said, "As of today we still have 15 stadiums located in 13 cities, but we plan to use only 12 venues in 11 cities, therefore our task is to pick the two cities that must be cut." The LOC is scheduled to announce the host cities on Sept. 29 (REUTERS, 9/11).