UEFA's Executive Committee has approved the 2015-18 UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations at its meeting in Prague. These updated regulations - which come after a two-year collaborative and consultative process involving key stakeholders including the European Club Association (ECA) via a dedicated ECA-UEFA Working Group - will encourage more growth and development, inclusivity and market stimulation through a careful broadening and refinement of the requirements, taking into consideration the economic environment and the experience gained over the last five years.
The updated financial fair play (FFP) regulations will now address situations where clubs have undergone a recent business restructuring or takeover and occasions where clubs wish to invest sustainably within the spirit and essence of FFP. Under these circumstances club monitoring will increase and broaden in scope through the application of rigorous conditions. Furthermore, the new amendments will take into account disadvantages faced by clubs due to sudden economic shocks or severe market structural deficiencies within its operating region. The regulations will also include a strengthening of the overdue payables criteria and new determination of related parties. All of these enhancements will further encourage responsible investors and stakeholders to continue to contribute to the strong and healthy growth of club football in Europe.
The club licensing criteria of the regulations have also been expanded to encourage inclusivity, promote integrity and increase awareness. Refinements will improve youth education and coaching quality by requiring educational programs that focus on the problems and dangers of match-fixing and a minimum standard of youth coaching qualifications. In addition, expenditures related to youth and women's football development will now be excluded from the break-even calculation to incentivise more development in these programmes. In order to foster inclusiveness and accessibility, the updated club licensing regulations will now require clubs to appoint a disability access officer to assist in improving stadium facilities and access for disabled supporters.
Commenting on the new regulations, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:
"The financial fair play rules are a very important tool for clubs to control their economic situation. The new version of the rules is perfectly in line with the Financial Fair Play principles, develops the system further and strengthens those principles. Therefore, ECA calls on clubs to keep on supporting the financial fair play system and to work within the framework of the new financial fair play rules."
UEFA President Michel Platini stated:
"The new regulations are an expansion and a strengthening of financial fair play. The overall objectives of financial fair play remain the same. We are just evolving from a period of austerity to one where we can offer more opportunities for sustainable growth and development."
The new regulations will come into force on 1 July 2015 and will be available on UEFA.org.