FFP opponents demand Platini showdown

Frank Dalleres
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Michel Platini says clubs still support FFP
A FANS’ group currently fighting financial fair play (FFP) through the French courts has demanded a summit with Michel Platini, the president of European governing body Uefa and the man credited with ushering in the controversial rules.

City A.M. revealed yesterday that the alliance of Paris Saint-Germain supporters would consider dropping their legal action if the changes Uefa plans to make to regulations this summer prove sufficiently substantive. They want Uefa to scrap its strict limit on the amount clubs’ owners may inject to fund player signings without breaching FFP and therefore risking a ban from the Champions League or Europa League.

“We asked Mr Michel Platini for a meeting in the coming weeks in order to explain our views on financial fair play and propose some alternative solutions for the organisation of a sporting competition that would be transparent, fair, compliant with sustainable management of football clubs but also with free competition and sports ethics,” said the group, which call itself the Association of Angry Fans against Financial Fair Play.

The group is arguing that FFP infringes European Union law because the limits on investment represent a restriction of competition, their lawyer Francois Brunet of Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, told City A.M. Platini revealed this week that FFP, which limits clubs’ losses to €10m (£7.1m) per season and last year saw PSG and Manchester City hit with a raft of sanctions including a £49m penalty, is set to be relaxed next month.

Yesterday he appeared to rule out a complete abandonment of the break-even rule, which limits losses, and insisted that clubs remained supportive of FFP, while conceding that some changes were necessary.

“Clubs need to continue to live within their means,” Platini said. “We have been in a long consultation process which has taken into account views from all stakeholders. The conclusions are that everyone wants financial fair play to stay.”