New spending limit for European football clubs is finalized

A review of financial constraints in European football will be discussed by leading clubs at a meeting on Thursday with limits on spending instead of salary ceilings.

UEFA is set to replace its Financial Fair Play rules, which place limits on losses, after more than a decade.

Instead, teams in leagues, including the Champions League, will eventually only be allowed to spend up to 70% of their income on football-related activities, people with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to talk about the plans yet to be formulated.

The European Club Association will review the proposals worked out with UEFA at a council meeting on Thursday. The final rules are to be finalized at a UEFA executive committee meeting in April.

There are still issues about differences across Europe, including domestic tax regimes and social contributions that clubs can benefit from rivals.

The New York Times reported that some clubs had to spend up to 85% of their income. While the spending limit may be 90% to begin with, that would come down to 70%.

Teams that spend too much can be relegated within the UEFA leagues, from the Champions League to the Europa League and the Europa Conference League of third parties.

There may be an additional $ 10 million allowed in overhead spending for what is called a sustainability bonus if they are in strong financial health.

The moves are designed to try to achieve a form of competitive balance and greater sustainability for clubs, yet provide a built-in advantage for the richest clubs instead of reducing the gap.

UEFA investigated salary restrictions, but their legality under European law was called into question.

Despite more than a decade of lavish investment in players, the Abu Dhabi-funded Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in Qatar have yet to win the Champions League.

The key to rules linking spending to revenue will be whether UEFA assesses the true value of potentially inflated sponsorship linked to state-owned property, with both City and PSG benefiting significantly from agreements linked to their Golf ownership.

The president of PSG is Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is president of the influential European Club Association that has worked on the new financial regulation with UEFA.

Katari is also a member of the executive committee at UEFA, which has yet to finalize plans for entry into the 2024 expanded Champions League with a jump from 32 to 36 teams.

Two places were set up to be awarded to teams based on historic achievements in Europe if teams do not qualify through their domestic leagues, but that plan is still in motion in the broader fallout of the collapse of the Super League last year.