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‘A great success’

Bayern welcomes Financial Fairplay scheme

‘Spend no more than you earn,’ Bayern’s enduring philosophy over decades, is to be the basis of new Europe-wide club licensing regulations approved by the UEFA Executive in Nyon on Thursday. “The intention is to establish financial fair play,” commented UEFA President Michel Platini.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a leading figure in the drive for financial reform in European football in his role as chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), welcomed the new rules. “This is a major success. On behalf of the European Club Association, I wish to thank UEFA and especially Michel Platini for this initiative, which is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Gradual introduction

Bayern board member Karl Hopfner was a member of the task force which devised the Financial Fairplay system. The new measures “set European club football on a path towards more responsible business practices, and thus a much more promising future,” Rummenigge continued.

After a step-by-step introduction up to 2012, clubs will have to eliminate annual operating losses by the 2012-13 season. The rules initially apply to clubs wishing to participate in the Champions League and Europa League.

Protect, not penalise

The mid-term goal is for this to be achieved without outside investment by cash-rich benefactors. From 2013-14 until the 2015-16 campaign, investors may pump in up to €45m, but only to pay off losses. “This is a start on restoring stability and economic sense to football,” Platini observed.

Clubs failing to practice Financial Fairplay could be excluded from European competition. “But our intention isn’t to punish clubs, it’s to protect them,” Platini said. An independent control body will scrutinise licence applications and examine clubs’ balance sheets.

Financial common sense

The approval of the new regulations is “an important development for European clubs’ financing,” said the UEFA President, “we’re brining stability and economic common sense back to football.”