New spending caps for European soccer clubs being finalized




Manchester City squad pose ahead of the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Manchester City and Sporting Lisbon at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

LONDON (AP) — An overhaul of financial restrictions in European soccer will be discussed by leading clubs at a meeting Thursday with limits on spending rather than salary caps.

UEFA is set to replace its Financial Fair Play rules, which placed limits on losses, after more than a decade.

Instead, teams in competitions including the Champions League will eventually only be allowed to spend up to 70% of their income on soccer-related activities, people with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans that are still being formulated.

The European Club Association will assess the proposals that have been worked on with UEFA at an executive board meeting on Thursday. The final rules are set to be concluded at a UEFA executive committee meeting in April.

There are still issues about disparities across Europe, including domestic tax regimes and social contributions that could benefit clubs over rivals.

The New York Times reported that some clubs had been pushing to be allowed to spend up to 85% of their earnings. While the spending limit could be 90% to start, that would come down to 70%.

Teams over-spending could be relegated within UEFA’s competitions, from the Champions League to the Europa League and the Europa Conference League.

There could be an addition $10 million allowed in spending above the cap for what is being called a sustainability bonus if they are in strong financial health.

The moves are designed to ensure a form of competitive balance but still provide a built-in advantage to the richest clubs.

Despite more than a decade of lavish investment in players, Abu Dhabi-funded Manchester City and Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain have yet to win the Champions League.

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