Financial Fair Play and Third Party Ownership: A Premier League Handicap Preview
The full article will appear in the December issue of the World Sports Law Report
This article aims to describe the growing trend of transfers funded to some degree by third party investment funds. Since the Tevez controversy back in 2007, the Premier League (PL) and more recently the Football League (FL) and Football Association (FA) have banned a third party owning an economic interest in a football player who is registered to an affiliated FA club. Recently, Bosman lawyer Jean Marc Dupont, raised concerns about the compatibility of such restrictions with EU law.
This issue becomes even more topical when considered in the context of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Rules (FFPRs). Ostensibly, it would appear that PL clubs wanting to participate in UEFA sanctioned Champions League and Europa League competition are at a real disadvantage because clubs who do not play in the PL are able to take advantage of alternative third party finance arrangements to purchase players. This may have the effect of reducing transfer costs for non-PL clubs thus making it easier for them to break-even under FFPRs.
Although the English football authorities may have thought they had seen the last of third party ownership, an interesting side-effect of the FFPRs has potentially brought the prohibitions back into the limelight. There appears little appetite on the continent for any similar prohibition but the English PL clubs, who originally voted in the restrictions to ensure a Tevez-like scenario could not occur again, may be rethinking their approach at a time when transfer amortisation costs need to be balanced against revenues for FFPR compliance. When certain clubs may need to take radical steps to reduce their cost base to adhere to the FFPRs, non-PL clubs participating in UEFA competition are at a particular advantage.
Third Party Investment Update: Players Can Own their Transfer Rights
By Daniel Geey and Alex Harvey Introduction It was a pleasure to talk alongside Nick De Marco recently at the RFEF FIFA Legal Congress in Madrid. We discussed the current state of play regarding Third Party Investment (TPI), particularly bearing in mind the recent TPI amendment to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer […]
Football Broadcasting Deals Across the Top 5 European Leagues
By Daniel Geey and Alex Harvey The excellent Swiss Ramble wrote a fascinating twitter thread comparing broadcasting revenues in the 2018/19 season across the top leagues in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. I would highly recommend reading the thread in detail. As with a previous thread that the Swiss Ramble wrote on EPL broadcasting […]
How did Dybala’s image rights affect his proposed transfer to Tottenham?
This piece was first published by the excellent Goal.com here Getting a deal over the line can be complicated at the best of times but complications over marketing opportunities can make things even worse It has been reported over the last few days that Paulo Dybala’s transfer to Tottenham hit choppy waters and ultimately collapsed […]
An Insider's Guide to Football Contracts, Multi-Million Pound Transfers and Premier League Big Business Insightful, enlightening and thought-provoking, leading Premier League lawyer Daniel Geey lifts the lid on the inner workings of modern football.
Whether it is a manager being sacked, the signing of a new star player, television rights negotiations, player misconduct or multi-million-pound club takeovers, lawyers remain at the heart of all football business dealings. Written by leading Premier League lawyer Daniel Geey, who has dealt with all these incidents first hand, this highly accessible book explores the issues – from pitch to boardroom – that shape the modern game and how these impact leagues, clubs, players and fans.Buy Book