Another crazy end to the January 2011 transfer window with a record breaking £225 million spent on football player transfers compared to only £30 million last January.
However, an analysis of the figures shows that 80% of the money was spent by four Premier League teams – on six players!
The influence of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations seems to have had little effect on the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa.
However, we are fast approaching the point where the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations will have an impact – as the progressive restraints on operating deficit will mean clubs must reach the ‘break even’ point by 2017.
Indeed, this summer may well see the start of football player transfer fees and player wages gradually being squeezed, as clubs strive to meet the financial criteria laid down by UEFA for European competition. The first reporting period will begin in the 2011/12 season and, by the season of 2013/14, the acceptable deviation against break-even will be €45 million. Some top clubs have recently posted losses way in excess of that figure.
Not a problem for some, of course – provided their wealthy benefactor is able to equity fund the deviation or produce sponsorship!
Written by Tim Bailey who is a specialist sports lawyer with UK law firm Beswicks Solicitors LLP and their associated sports agency, Beswicks Sports Limited. Tim Bailey advises professional clubs, athletes and corporate bodies on sports related contractual, commercial and regulatory issues.