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Volume 10 No. 22
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UEFA Withholds Prize Money Of Clubs For Breaking Financial Fair Play Rules

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).