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Parliamentary questions
PDF 103kWORD 18k
7 September 2017
Question for written answer E-005589-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ivo Belet (PPE) , Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE) , Richard Corbett (S&D) , Santiago Fisas Ayxelà (PPE) , Marc Tarabella (S&D)

 Subject:  Undermining financial fair play and infringing on fair competition
 Answer in writing 

The 2012 financial fair play (FFP) agreement between the Commission and UEFA was designed to create a level playing field to enable European football clubs to compete fairly with one another.

The central pillar of FFP is the principle that a club’s sports-related expenses should align with its revenues. This goal is in line with the objectives of European state aid rules, which provide that operators cannot gain an extra advantage through public subsidies.

However, both the FFP agreement and its rules are being undermined by some football clubs, such as PSG, which has made some very expensive transfer purchases, e.g. Neymar and Mbappé, by means of a ‘taking on loan’ construction. UEFA has already launched an investigation into such practices.

1. What is the Commission’s assessment of the aforementioned agreement in the light of recent developments regarding signing players on loan? Does it share the view that these practices undermine the purpose of the agreement?

2. Does it agree that a level playing field in European football competitions can no longer be guaranteed if the agreement is being undermined in this way?

3. Does it agree that the ownership of European football clubs by authorities or agencies which have (financial) ties with (third country) governments may constitute an infringement against the principle of fair competition?

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