On The Ball: Episode 1

Our first episode is entitled “Is Financial Fair Play Dead?” and looks at the operation of UEFA’s FFP rules, their history, application, legal challenges and examples of cases, looking specifically at the recent case of Manchester City v UEFA.

On The Ball: Episode 2

In Episode 2 we are joined by Tom Murray, Associate at Mishcon de Reya who offers further analysis and insight into financial regulation in football.

We ask Tom, is Financial Fair Play dead?

“Loaded question! I don’t think it is dead, I think it’s similar to my view of the European Union. Is it a perfect body that you are immensely proud of being a part of and can do no wrong? No. Is there room for improvement? Yes. Does that mean we should do away with it all together? No. I think we should work to improve the models of financial management in football and that might mean going back to the fundamentals and asking, what are we actually trying to achieve here? Are we trying to achieve parity? Are we trying to achieve support for clubs in the lower tiers of football which is something that I would be keen to see. I think asking those questions is important and it’s important to be critical of the current systems we have in order to improve them. I don’t think it is dead, I think the underlying goals and objectives behind it are set up to achieve positive things and I think trying to encourage clubs to manage their finances is a good thing to try and do because there is a risk in any sort of capitalist society that people will go for broke and see the dizzy lights of the Champions League or the Premier League and will spend beyond their means to get there and without having any controls in place, we could be in a situation where there is a significant number of clubs who go insolvent. I think it is particularly important now in these really difficult times for clubs to ask is there are other ways we should be supporting them and whether there is a different model that we might need to consider which accounts for the fact that they are really really struggling and their ordinary sources of revenue have completely dissipated. So is it dead? No. Could it do with some improvement? I’m sure it could, but every system that we have in place, any set of rules could always do with improving.”

Tom Murray

Tom Murray is a Sport and Commercial Associate at Mishcon de Reya in London. He also runs the Mishcon de Reya Sports Law Academy.

Photo © Mishcon de Reya; Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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