Definition of Financial Fair Play (FFP)

Over the past 15 years at the top level of football (or soccer) in Europe, a pattern has emerged. The same teams would emerge as champions after receiving a large financial boom and outbidding just about anyone else for the best players. Two such examples of these would be Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain (PSG).

What is the meaning of FFP - Financial Fair Play, when it comes to the sport of European football / soccer?In order to combat this dominance of money essentially buying championships, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) attempted to establish the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP). These were a set of rules and regulations in order to stop clubs from spending more money than they make in the pursuit of trophies.

Punishments for breaking these rules include fines and even banishments from the European Champions League. Manchester City and PSG had to pay fines of 60 million and have a limited squad for the Champions League in 2014. Other clubs across European leagues in Turkey, Croatia, Russia and more have faced fines for breaching the FFP regulations.

There have been criticisms of FFP. The latest of these come after Manchester City were banned from all UEFA competitions for two years. However, after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), they had to merely pay a 30 million euros fine. There was also criticism after PSG spent a world record of over 230 million euros on Brazilian star Neymar in 2017 and no investigation. With the latest ruling on Manchester City, many wonder if FFP no longer has any authority over the largest clubs and the cycle of their success will continue.