Spanish League pre-empts UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations
A meeting of the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) has approved the implementation of a Reglamento de Control Económico, a rule to oversee financial control of the 42 teams which make up the top two divisions in Spain. With a record number of Spanish clubs now in debt it is a move designed to pre-empt UEFA´s Financial Fair Play regulations - the key elements of which are due to be implemented for the financial period ending 2012 - and the first step will be the creation of a self-governing body to make sure clubs fulfil their monetary obligations.
It is a system designed to safeguard clubs´ economic interests and will come into effect on August 21, the start of next season, with the LFP agreeing to present a list of all player transfers and acquisitions and to comply with rules taking in balance of payments, company performance and net profit. It will also adhere to strict guidelines regarding money spent on players compared to income, and the ratio of net debt against total earnings.
At the end of each season clubs will then have to show they do not owe money to either players or Hacienda, the tax office, if they wish to avoid sanctions. These are set to range from a ban on signings, relegation, suspension of voting and economic rights, points deduction and a variety of fines. In relation to claims some teams may owe money in unpaid transfer fees it has also been decided to create a debt recovery fund, which will serve to cover part of any potential default on payments.
LFP President José Luis Astiazarán, confirming the agreement, said: “This is an important milestone. We are going to follow the UEFA parameters of fair play to encourage solvency relating to club funds and also to protect creditors. It is a process which starts now and will finish within three years, when we will arrive at a balance between earnings and expenditure regulated by a department of control.
“The important thing is the way the league has adopted the responsibility to take these necessary methods. We have tried for a long time and are not unlike other sectors of the economy in that, with self-government, we can promote solvency.”
The meeting was attended by representatives of all La Primera clubs apart from Espanyol, Real Sociedad, Levante, Racing and Rayo Vallecano, with only Celta Vigo from La Segunda not present.