UEFA’s FFP rules now allow clubs to incur losses of €60m (£50m) over three years, compared to the previous allowance of €30m. A spending cap on wages, transfers and agents’ fees to 70% of a club’s total revenue by 2025/2026 has also been introduced. Clubs are also required to settle overdue payables in specified timeframes.
The UEFA Executive Committee met in 2020 and approved a set of temporary emergency measures as an addendum to the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations to take into account the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the finances of clubs. The financial years 2020 and 2021 are assessed as one single period so losses are compared over four periods rather than three for the next new years, with the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons averaged out as one period.
Clubs are also allowed to subtract what is called virtue spending, which includes any spending on areas like infrastructure, women’s teams, youth teams, and academies, as well as community projects or charitable work. Wage totals that are included for FFP calculations are for players and coaches only, not the total wage club figure, so there is a lot of guesswork involved but these will not materially change the statistics and probably by no more than 10% in the worst case.
The table below shows the seven clubs in European competitions this coming season and their combined rolling losses/profits for the UEFA FFP seasons 2021, 2022 and 2023.
In 2021 only Brighton, Aston Villa and West Ham technically breached FFP rules, Brighton and Aston Villa were not in Europe at the time so it didn’t apply to them. The Hammers technically went over by £7m but that could be covered by virtue spending and non-player/coach wages, so they probably break even on FFP that period to
In 2022 Everyone except Liverpool and Manchester City breached UEFA FFP regulations relying on exceptions directly due to COVID losses
If we look forward to 2023, clubs are yet to publish figures for last season but have shared them with UEFA. This table excludes 2023.
It shows that five clubs, Arsenal, Brighton, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Newcastle, are already over the £50m limit so they would all need to make a profit last season.
Liverpool, Man City, and West Ham can afford to make losses for last season, in the case of West Ham they could lose £13m last season.
My thanks to Kieran Macguire from the Price of Football for providing extracts of famous football accounts spreadsheet to work out the losses.