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Great news for Saudi PIF Newcastle United owners as UEFA chief says going to ‘adapt’ Financial Fair Play rules

3 months ago
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Financial Fair Play rules have been repeatedly put up as the biggest obstacle to the imminent new Saudi PIF Newcastle United owners, quickly reversing 13 years of Mike Ashley neglect.

As things stand, UEFA rules don’t allow clubs to lose more than 30m euros (approximately £26.8m) per season, averaged over any three year period.

When you say don’t allow, owners of a club CAN cover greater losses than that, but would not be allowed into the Champions League or Europa League.

The Premier League have their own rules on Financial Fair Play, with owners allowed to cover losses of up to £35m per season, once again averaged over any three year period.

Mike Ashley refusing to allow proper investment in the Newcastle squad, has actually meant that the imminent Saudi PIF owners would have extra wriggle room after taking over, football finance expert Kieran Maguire believes the new NUFC owners could spend up to around £150m on new players in their first season, due to profits the club made in recent seasons.

Now there is even better news on the Financial Fair Play front where the Amanda Staveley fronted bid is concerned.

The President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin has been interviewed by beIN SPORTS, discussing amongst other things (see below), impending reforms to the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

The UEFA boss saying that due to the virus situation, they are going to relax the FFP rules: ‘Yes, we will adapt it and we think it’s important to adapt it because the situation for the clubs is not easy.’

Ceferin said that now wasn’t the time to reveal the exact details but did say UEFA have been in talks with various leagues and clubs about the Financial Fair Play rules.

Whatever the exact details turn out to be, the big key thing will surely be that owners are allowed to put more money into their clubs to financially prop them up in these very difficult times.

Now I know that we live in the most moral of times these days (where Newcastle United and new owners are concerned anyway!) but the truth is that in football, any morals left the building long ago.

We have certainly never seen morality as a consideration for Mike Ashley these past 13 years, and if now Financial Fair Play rules are indeed relaxed and allow our imminent new owners to finance a quicker instant bounce back than expected, I’m all in favour.

Having watched what has gone on at clubs such as Chelsea, Man City and numerous others in recent times, why on earth should Newcastle fans feel any guilt at potentially being able to be back competing, far quicker than anyone thought would be possible.

President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin speaking to beIN SPORTS:

On Financial Fair Play (FFP):

“The [virus] situation is extraordinary.

“We will not pretend it’s not, so we will adapt the Financial Fair Play system, but the final decision in which direction we will do it is not brought yet [on how to do it has not been made yet].

“Yes, we will adapt it and we think it’s important to adapt it because the situation for the clubs is not easy.

“We are all in the same boat.

“It’s too soon to share details on how we will do it, but the clubs are included in the conversation and so are the leagues.”

On completing UEFA European competitions this summer:

“We have a concrete plan of finishing the European season. Of course, this summer we will have to play without spectators at the stadiums. I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it’s their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competition.

“We have an idea but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates. I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August. As things look now, I’m sure… that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition.

“The national leagues are a separate thing and they will decide separately how they want to proceed. But as I said before, I think at least 80% will finish the season.

“For now, it looks as though the calendar will not be affected much, especially the calendar of UEFA competitions. The calendar is very dense, so we don’t have much space to change things. My opinion is that it will stay the same.

“About the national leagues – it’s hard to say [for the 2020/21 season]. Some say that they are thinking of starting a bit later, some will start normally. But for European competition… we are of a view that it should stay the same.”

On plans for Euro 2021:

“The idea is that we stay in the same cities. We have had conversations with nine cities and everything is set. With three cities, we have some issues. So we will discuss further, and in principle, we will do it in 12 cities. But if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight.”

On the resumption of the Bundesliga:

“We trust Germans, their authorities are very serious… It’s not only about football. It’s about people being depressed because we are locked down, because there is so much uncertainty, and football brings life to a usual level [back to normal]”

“Football brings positive energy. It’s easier to be home if you can watch sports! So I think it’s a great [example of] cooperation between the German league and the German government. I hope, and think, they will be very successful.”

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