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Financial fair play in European football

Thomas Peeters () and Stefan Szymanski ()

Economic Policy, 2014, vol. 29, issue 78, 343-390

Abstract: type="main" xml:id="ecop12031-abs-0001"> In 2010 UEFA, the governing body of European football, announced a set of financial restraints, which clubs must observe when seeking to enter its competitions, notably the UEFA Champions League. We analyse the financial and sporting impact of these ‘Financial Fair Play’ (FFP) regulations in four major European football leagues. We first discuss the details of FFP and frame these regulations in the institutional set-up of the European football industry. We then show how the break-even constraint embedded in FFP could substantially reduce average payrolls and wage-to-turnover ratios, while strengthening the position of the traditional top teams. Since the benefits of the break-even rule to consumers remain unclear, we argue that these rent-shifting regulations might fall foul of European competition law. — Thomas Peeters and Stefan Szymanski

Date: 2014
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