Seventy-six European clubs will find out this week if they will be punished for breaching UEFA's new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) will meet to decide the fate of 76 clubs, with Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain widely assumed to be among those under investigation after recent summers of big spending.
The FFP rules mean that no club can post football-related losses of over £37 million for the three years up to June 2014, with annual reviews in place to decide if the targets set by the clubs are likely to be met. Those that do post losses over the stated limit may be disqualified from European football for a full season.
Both Manchester City and PSG have had huge losses in recent years after major summer transfer budgets. City spent over £100 million last summer on the likes of Fernandinho and Álvaro Negredo, while PSG spent even more on players such as Edinson Cavani, Marquinhos and the French club even added Yohan Cabaye in the January window.
The costs of these transfers have largely been offset by major commercial deals, with Manchester City signing a massive deal with Etihad, while PSG agreed an annual sponsorship deal with the Qatar Toursim Authority. It is still unclear, however, whether these deals will count when it comes to offsetting the losses from transfers.
The CFCB, headed by ex-Belgium prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, is tasked with assessing whether or not the clubs have indeed breached the rules and if they are found to have done so then they will be referred to a further panel with a final decision expected to be made in the first week of May.
The verdict will have serious implications not only for City and PSG, but also for Everton, Arsenal, Saint-Étienne and Lyon - four clubs who could benefit from an extra Champions League place being available if City and PSG were to be banned from European competition.
Clubs with major losses not playing in Europe this season, but set to qualify next season - such as AS Monaco and Liverpool - will not have to pass the FFP rules until next summer. Any sanctions would then be applicable in the 2015/16 season, meaning qualification for next season's European competitions is not in any danger.
Clubs will be able to appeal any decision via the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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