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Understanding the Upcoming FFP Proceedings

As you may have heard, UEFA will soon be releasing reports on their first round of sanctions on teams that may be in violation of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out who the culprits are. But there's still a ton of questions on how UEFA will regulate FFP and what their likely sanctions will be for teams who fail to comply.

I must state this, by no means am I a legal expert, nor do I have any real experience in law outside of some traffic violations, but the main points of FFP can be easily understood if you take the time to research the matter. By all means, if anything is wrong in this, I find it necessary that you comment on the matter. The following paragraphs are only what I understand about the matter (after doing research, obviously) and how I present them. With that being said, LETS GO!

Clearly I know some of this stuff already...

The basics are pretty straight forward, UEFA instituted FFP way back in September of 2009 after a series of summers where transfer fees and player wages rose to heights never before seen, which was basically a result of the financial giants of football throwing their might around. Essentially, UEFA is aiming to prevent clubs from spending far over their net profits in football related revenue to try and balance the playing field, especially for teams not run by petrodollars. A bunch of varying factors resulted in UEFA taking action on the matter, and one factor may possibly have come straight from the mouth of our own Arsene Wenger, who referred to the spending of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Barcelona as "financial doping"

So, who's been ordered down to the office?

Out of 237 clubs that fall under regulation of UEFA, 76 have been targeted for further investigation. The three big names that appear on that list though are Paris St. Germain, Manchester City, and AS Monaco. I think it's quite clear to everyone that out of all the clubs in Europe outside of Bayern Munich and Barcelona, those three have spent the most in the past two seasons, especially AS Monaco in just the past year alone. The rest of the 76 clubs consist variously of mid-major clubs in smaller leagues, and even bottom feeders in leagues you never even knew existed (Apparently, Malta has a really big problem).

Wait, what about Chelsea and Real Madrid and Barcelona?

Chelsea somehow made it though, although it's questionable from my point of view. For more on that, I would refer to our usual Chelsea visitors or the lovely if sometimes obnoxious WAGNH editors and mods.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid? They basically thrive and survive on brand image and sponsorship alone and make more than enough to cover any sort of football related expenditures, so they will always be in the clear, unless one of them plans on making a $1 billion dollar move for Messi or Ronaldo, or buys an entire team...

Arsenal? Of course we're in the clear, WE NEVER SPEND ANY FUCKING MONEYYYYYYYYYYYY...

What will happen to the clubs who do receive sanctions?

It's hard to say specifically until the sanctions come out later this week, but the punishments are likely to range from fines to complete transfer bans. From what it sounds like, no team will lose out on their Champions League or Europa League qualifications if they do qualify, but they may lose out on a chunk of, if not all the prize money for making it to certain stages. Transfer bans may be put into place for certain clubs, which apparently bans said club not only from buying players, but from selling them as well (Makes sense, if your budget is shit, we're going to prevent you from liquidating and selling so you can comply...)

So... GLORIOUS AFTERMATH AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?!?!?

Not quite... It's not so far as to expect a ton of lawsuits and appeals to come from clubs that receive sanctions, especially from the bigger clubs, and that could drag out the actual sanctions and even delay them for long periods of time.

There's also the question of whether or not a transfer ban is even legal, which stems from the sanctions given to Barcelona for their "questionable methods" of buying Neymar. A transfer ban could limit a player's ability to move away from a club if they desire to, which would be labeled under a restriction of rights not in control of the player, but one could also argue that if a player wants to move from a club with a transfer ban, that club may be forced into releasing the player from their contract and letting the player go on a free.

Although it makes sense overall to just ban the clubs from participating in Champions and Europa League play, it seems rather unlikely because it would harm the financial interests of UEFA, somehow...

What can we expect from all of this then?

A bunch of noise, really. It will flair up in media from now until seemingly the end of time. I can't really attest for leagues outside of the EPL, because I don't really follow any other league regularly, but I do think that Manchester City should really be fearing a response from the FA instead about their own Premier League financial regulations. If Manchester City keeps pushing budgets into the red, it may very well result in docked points as punishment, or a loss of money from the television rights sharings.

The main thing though, is that UEFA actually drops the hammer in some sort of way on a couple of big name clubs, which would actually show that they aren't going to be pushed around by financial might or would rather serve their own financial interests at the expense of the game. While we haven't seen a hammer drop yet, we have seen a recent tendency in clubs to avoid a number of massive purchases in a given transfer window. In return though, we've also seen a steady spike in player wages to make up for it. In the end, we won't know whether or not FFP sanctions will truly solve this issue until much farther down the road...

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