Amid transfer boom, UEFA eyes stricter club spending rules

July 29, 2017
Neymar controls the ball during a match against Juventus during the 2017 International Champions Cup in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


In another European summer of lavish transfer deals, it can seem that UEFA has given up trying to curb clubs' excessive spending.

Sceptics question AC Milan's €200 million (US$240 million) spree and how Paris Saint-Germain could squeeze a €220 million (US$258 million) pursuit of Barcelona's Neymar by the UEFA rules.

Do not believe it, says the "Financial Fair Play" project leader monitoring hundreds of clubs' accounts since 2011.

"Certainly FFP is not dead and we will, for sure, reinforce the rules going forward," Andrea Traverso told The Associated Press at UEFA headquarters.

Luxury taxes and salary caps once dismissed as unworkable in Europe are again talked about. UEFA could start evaluating club debts and make competitive balance a formal goal.

"We have continuous dialogue with the clubs. They are all aware of the rules," Traverso said, noting Champions League regular Porto was sanctioned last month.

After Porto overspent on first-team budget targets, UEFA deducted €700,000 (US$820,000) prize money and limited the squad to 22 instead of 25 senior players in this season's competition.

UEFA's independent club finance panel praised the 27-time Portuguese champion's "realistic financial and business plan," and expects compliance by 2020.

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