Pablo Rodriguez. "Clubs must not spend more than they generate"

UEFA Club Licensing & Financial Fair Play Compliance Manager Pablo Rodriguez made a visit in Armenia on 12-15 October in order to inspect the FFA licensing office and to present the new UEFA Club licensing & Financial Fair Play regulations (edition 2010) to the Armenian clubs' representatives. The main themes of the presentation were an overview of the club licensing systems within UEFA and especially the introduction of the Financial Fair Play.
After the presentation he agreed to give a short interview to web-site

- What are the new requirements of the UEFA Club Licensing & Financial Fair Play regulations?

Firstly, the new UEFA Club Licensing & Financial Fair Play regulations include several mandatory provisions and criteria related to club licensing that have changed compared to previous regulations. I must say those changes represent an improvement of the current club licensing system in particular in relation to the personnel and financial requirements. Those licensing requirements entered into force on 1st June 2010 and will need to be fulfilled by the clubs for participation in the next UEFA competition season 2011/12.
Secondly, these regulations include a completely new section on Financial Fair Play (FFP) whose objectives are amongst others to protect the long-term viability and sustainability of European club football and to introduce more discipline and rationality in club football finances. I must say that the philosophy of the FFP is quite simple and can be best described by the “break-even rule” which is the main pillar of the FFP. According to this break-even rule clubs participating in UEFA competitions must not spend more than what they generate. The additional pillar of the FFP is the absence of overdue payables during the season towards other clubs, employees and tax authorities.

- Are you sure that FFP will be acceptable for clubs? Are the clubs ready for FFP?

First of all let me remind you that such FFP rules were not simply imposed by UEFA, we had many meetings and consultations with the clubs, the professional leagues and the national associations in order to develop the FFP concept and the corresponding rules.
With regard to the new break-even rule we understand that currently not all clubs are ready, this is why we give them now some time to prepare themselves to this “philosophical” change, adjust their finances and potentially develop new strategies. In practice the break-even rule will be monitored for the first time as from season 2013/2014.
I also would like to add that this rule aims in particular at reducing some of the big excesses that we identified amongst some big and medium clubs playing in UEFA competitions. This is why this particular break-even rule will only be applicable for clubs which have a “budget” of EUR 5 millions or more.

- Who will monitor the compliance with the FFP?

The independent Club Financial Control Panel (CFCP) chaired by Jean-Luc Dehaene and composed currently of 8 experts will be responsible for the monitoring of the FFP. The CFCP will assess the documentation submitted by the clubs and, if necessary, request additional information.
The creation in 2009 of the CFCP was the first step towards the FFP implementation. I must say that besides the above mentioned FFP main pillar, the CFCP will also check as from June 2011 that the clubs have no overdue payables – during the season – towards other clubs, employees and tax authorities.
I also would like to highlight that the CFCP is currently already working and is verifying that licences granted by the national associations to their clubs in order to participate in UEFA competitions are in compliance with UEFA club licensing requirements.

- Are the Armenian clubs able to implement Financial Fair Play (FFP)?

I' m sure, yes, absolutely. As I said before FFP will not be fully applicable in Armenia because so far the budget of Armenian clubs is less than EUR 5 millions. Given this situation Armenian clubs playing in UEFA competitions will have to make sure that they do not have overdue payables during the season in order to be in compliance with FFP.

Armenian Development Bank Hummel