Man Utd and Arsenal risk UEFA penalties after Premier League agreement
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Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and several other top English sides will have to adjust to new financial rules or risk penalties from UEFA. After months of discussions, the Premier League have agreed on a new set of regulations which could make life particularly tricky for those competing in Europe.
Premier League clubs held a meeting and a vote on Tuesday that looks set to change the way the English top-flight, and indeed the rest of the football pyramid, is run. Key areas of focus were thought to be parachute payments for teams relegated to the Championship and a fresh set of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
At present, UEFA regulations state that clubs can spend no more than 70 per cent of their total revenue on player wages and transfer fees. Premier League clubs have concluded that a higher percentage than that will be permitted in England, meaning the league’s rules will be out of sync with Europe’s governing body.
That leaves United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham in a tricky position as the seven English teams competing in Europe this term. If the rules came into effect immediately, they could face penalties from UEFA for overspending, even if they remained inside the new Premier League boundary.
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Although it has already been decided that the permitted spend on player wages and transfer fees will be higher than 70 per cent, the exact figure remains unknown. Sky Sports claim that Premier League clubs insisted on the benchmark being higher than UEFA’s due to the importance of aspirational spending to compete with the big six.
The date for the new rules to be implemented has not yet been confirmed as it depends on negotiations with the EFL. Things are likely to keep moving with the Premier League expected to begin those negotiations after a year of long discussions.
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EFL clubs are set to pocket more payments from Premier League sides going forward, but they also must abide by the same financial limitations. Also included in Tuesday’s meeting were talks on work permit issues as, since Brexit, clubs have run into difficulties when recruiting foreign youngsters.
Those pushing for European qualification this campaign will surely be keeping one eye on how they can conform with the differing regulations set out by UEFA and the Premier League. Man City and Arsenal look set to land in the Champions League next term as the top-flight’s two front-runners in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Newcastle United, who are backed by virtually limitless wealth, could also be surprise contenders having lost just one of their opening 14 Premier League matches in 2021/22. The Magpies have spent big on a squad revamp since Amanda Staveley and co completed their takeover late last year.
“To get trophies means patience, investment, time,” Staveley told Sky Sports. “We want everybody to work with us to build the club towards what it needs to be. We’re really excited about strengthening the squad, but we have to work within Financial Fair Play and make sure this is done over a longer term.”
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