Liverpool chief unconvinced about Uefa resolve on financial fair play
NEWS:LIVERPOOL’S CHIEF owner John W Henry has claimed the Premier League may create its own penalties for clubs who sustain big financial losses should Uefa fail to impose a robust deterrent.
European football’s governing body will enforce its financial fair play (FFP) rules from the 2013-14 season, when clubs will be required to break even on their balance sheets albeit with allowances such as the “acceptable deviation” of €45 million (£35.4 million) over the first two years. FFP, however, applies only to clubs competing in Uefa competitions, the Champions League and Europa League and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has voiced doubts over the effectiveness of the proposals.
Henry has been a vocal supporter of Uefa’s plan since the day Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool in 2010 and previously criticised Manchester City’s £400 million sponsorship deal with Etihad Airlines as a means of circumnavigating FFP. City posted losses of £197 million for the 2010-11 financial year, while Chelsea’s most recent accounts, published on January 31st and before this summer’s £60 million-plus spending spree, revealed a £67.7 million loss.
Premier League clubs agreed to consider tighter regulations at their annual general meeting earlier this summer amid concern FFP will not deter the largesse of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour. It will require 14 clubs to vote in favour of new regulations.
In an interview with the Tomkins Times, a Liverpool website, Henry stated: “The mandate of financial fair play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means. Recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions within Europe are losing money and 20 per cent are in straits of varying degrees. It’s up to LFC to invest properly in players going forward so that the club can not only be sustainable but a powerhouse. This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues . . . There are a lot of clubs within the league that support financial fair play. We believe the league itself may have to adopt its own rules given that clubs seem to be ignoring Uefa’s rules.”