Liverpool and Chelsea officials have admitted they harbour doubts over whether UEFA will punish big-spending clubs such as Manchester City, PSG and Monaco for Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
Next season is the first season that FFP will come into play for sides across Europe and the rules set out by UEFA can lead to punishments ranging from fines to suspension from UEFA competitions.
Champions League revenue is a significant portion of most top clubs’ profits, so losing out could have huge ramifications for thoses punished.
Liverpool are one of the clubs that have been moving towards a more sustainable model but managing director at Anfield, Ian Ayre, admitted he was doubtful as to whether the governing body would be able to sanction clubs that breach the rules.
“We have to see the application by UEFA, we have to wait and see how fair they really play it. I have to say my level of confidence in it isn’t very high,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay also spoke to Bloomberg and admitted he was aware that when the FFP rules were announced in 2009, the Stamford Bridge club were “among the clubs targeted” by UEFA.
Billionaire Russian Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and has spent lavishly in that time on big-name players, though last year the club announced it’s first ever year of profit since he became owner.
However, he hinted at concern over UEFA’s conviction on taking on the likes of PSG, Monaco and Manchester Coty – all spending heavily in the transfer market this summer.
“It’s UEFA’S competition so we want to make sure that we comply,” he said.
“All we’ve asked for is that UEFA police and manage the process with a clear, even playing field.”
The FFP guidelines allow for a loss of €45million a season if shareholders can cover the cost, something that many doubt the likes of Monaco and PSG can do.
Ian Ayre is desperate to the sanctions to be carried out as said and believed the past four years would have been a waste of time if UEFA did not act strongly with them.
“We can never compete with just writing huge checks for players here, there and everywhere,” he added.
“The amount of time, money and effort that’s been put into this initiative, I think it would be an absolute tragedy if they don’t apply the rules strongly and firm