ECA Executive Board Members Jean-Michel Aulas (Olympique Lyonnais) and Ernesto Paolillo (FC Internazionale Milano) today participated in the second UEFA Financial Fair Play Media Day, which was held at the House of European Football in Nyon.
The Financial Fair Play Regulations, which were fully approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in May 2010, are designed to protect European football's long-term health and viability, as well as the integrity and smooth running of UEFA's club competitions. Moreover, they aim to stimulate long-term investment in areas such as youth development and the upgrading of club infrastructure.
During today's media event, UEFA took the opportunity to explain to the present media representatives in detail the key milestones and principles of Financial Fair Play and to give an update on its implementation. As the new regulations began to be implemented during this season and will be fully implemented for European competitions as of the 2013/14 season, it is crucial to explain where we stand at this point in time.
Jean-Michel Aulas and Ernesto Paolillo, who are both chairing the ECA Finance Task Force which was heavily involved in the creation of the new rules, participated in a Question & Answer session to share their views and thoughts from a club's perspective. Both ECA Representatives highlighted that they are very pleased that UEFA took the responsibility to introduce the rules. ECA was always supportive of this initiative and the close cooperation between UEFA and the clubs in this respect was exemplary. With the coming into force of the regulations the close collaboration continues: 38 clubs from 19 different countries are voluntarily taking part in a test exercise, which concerns the financial years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The Financial Fair Play Media Day coincided with the presentation of UEFA's Club Licensing Benchmarking Report for the Financial Year 2010. The report gives an overview into the overall health of European football clubs across Europe in 2010. Despite the challenging economic situation, the report highlights that top-divsion clubs in Europe increased their income by 6.6%. However, with reported €1.6bn net loss (which is 36% higher than the 2009 figure of €1.2bn) the financial situation in European football remains problematic. These key figures clearly underline the fact that there is a strong need to introduce more discipline and rationality in club football finances. The introduction of the Financial Fair Play Regulations aims at limiting the financial problems of European club football in the future.
The full UEFA Club Licensing Benchmarking report is available for download on www.uefa.com.