FFP dispute faces battle

Frank Dalleres
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A SECOND legal challenge to financial fair play rules aimed at preventing European chiefs Uefa from tightening spending controls faces a difficult battle, according to a leading sports lawyer.

It emerged on Friday that Jean-Louis Dupont, one of the lawyers involved in the landmark Bosman ruling, has filed a request with the Court of First Instance in Brussels for a provisional freeze on the amount clubs are permitted to lose under FFP, which Uefa is due to cut from €45m (£36m) over two years to €30m (£24m) over three years.

Dupont, who says he represents player agents including Daniel Striani as well as supporters, still hopes that an initial legal challenge to the legality of FFP rule filed last year and still being considered by the same court will ultimately be successful. He has argued that restrictions on club spending reduces agent earnings and increases costs to fans.

Daniel Geey, a senior associate at Fieldfisher and an expert on FFP, told City A.M.: “Striani certainly appears to have a difficult battle to convince the court, even in the interim, to suspend the Uefa regulations that are currently in operation even if it only to suspend the loss reduction requirement.”

He added: “This would be a significant intervention on the part of the Belgian courts because they have yet to come to a conclusion on the legal merits of the case. Such arguments will be based on Belgian law tests on the necessity of the interim measure presumably to stop further harm occurring before the final outcome.”