Published on June 30th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Jean-Louis Dupont reacts to UEFA’s changes to FFP
Here’s a statement from Jean-Louis Dupont following UEFA’s changes to FFP:
“Our clients (Mr. Daniel Striani, Manchester Football Club Supporters Club and supporters of Paris St Germain) have been informed of the amendments to the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations adopted yesterday by UEFA.
First, they find the crucial measure taken, namely to allow a degree of over-spending (as long as this over-spending is guaranteed by shareholders of the club), to be precisely one of the measures they had requested before the courts. Before the judges, UEFA nevertheless argued during 2 years that such an alternative was totally incompatible with the objectives of FFP. Good to know that UEFA has finally updated its software…
UEFA says that with these amendments, FFP is evolving from a “period of austerity to a sustainable growth period.” In more direct terms, UEFA is simply moving from an entirely illegal rule to a rule that becomes a little bit less illegal.
Indeed, in competition law, any excessive restriction of the freedom of enterprise is by definition illegal. With these amendments yesterday, UEFA is therefore fully confessing that the previous version of the rule was excessive and therefore illegal under competition law.
The questions referred by the Court of First Instance in Brussels to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have now been registered with the European Supreme Court under the case number C-299/15.
UEFA has appealed to the Brussels Court of Appeal of the decision of the trial judge, while stating publicly that it is fully convinced that the ECJ will confirm the legality of the regulation. If this is the case, one wonders why the UEFA makes every effort to try to delay this necessary “European game”? Why is it “playing the clock”? And why is it so desperate to avoid playing that game on its natural pitch, i.e. before the ECJ? To ask the question is, in effect, to answer it.
The questions currently before the ECJ are clearly more relevant than ever since, on the one hand, the ECJ will judge the legality of the rules that UEFA has applied to all European clubs for several years (until today) and, on the other hand, it will – by contrast – assess the legality of the new version of the regulation.
Finally, we are particularly puzzled about the fact that, according to UEFA. some clubs (those already sanctioned or under agreement procedure) will not immediately benefit from the adopted amendments. At first sight, this is absolutely discriminatory. Our clients reserve the right to inject this issue into the proceedings.”
– Jean-Louis Dupont, Martin Hissel