Uefa open to re-opening Financial Fair Play cases
European football's governing body Uefa said yesterday Financial Fair Play (FFP) investigations could be re-opened after the publication of leaked documents about the finances of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
The "Football Leaks" documents, showing the two clubs had inflated sponsorship revenues to meet Uefa's FFP requirements, were obtained by the German publication Der Spiegel and reviewed by European Investigative Collaborations, a consortium of international media.
The FFP rules are intended, among other things, to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.
According to the documents, Uefa's regulatory body accepted Man City and PSG receiving income from key sponsors related to the club owners that was far in excess of the market value estimated by independent experts hired by Uefa.
City have said the purported leaks were an organised attempt to damage their reputation. PSG have said they firmly deny the allegations.
Responding to requests for comment on the "Football Leaks" reports, Uefa released a statement yesterday saying it could re-open FFP investigations on a case-by-case basis where new information suggested there had been abuse.
Uefa also defended FFP, saying it had helped deal with the problem of clubs getting into debt, but added that the system relied on clubs being honest.
"While Uefa can test the information it receives, it relies on that information being fair and accurate reflections of a club's finances," the statement said.
In response to the "Football Leaks" documents, City issued a statement earlier this month saying: "We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen... The attempt to damage the club's reputation is organised and clear."
PSG issued a statement on Nov 2 stating: "PSG have always acted in full compliance with the laws and regulations enacted by sports institutions," adding that it firmly denied the allegations. - REUTERS