The UEFA Executive Committee met today via videoconference and approved a set of temporary emergency measures as an addendum to the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations to take into account the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the finances of clubs.
Such measures were developed and unanimously supported by all stakeholders within the UEFA Emergency Working Group on Legal, Regulatory and Financial matters which comprises representatives of UEFA, the ECA, European Leagues and FIFPRO Europe.
The newly adopted emergency measures aim at:
• providing flexibility while ensuring that clubs continue to fulfil their transfer and salary obligations on time;
• giving clubs more time to quantify and account for unanticipated loss of revenues;
• neutralising the adverse impact of the pandemic by allowing clubs to adjust the break-even calculation for revenue shortfalls reported in 2020 and 2021, while at the same time protecting the system from potential abuses;
• ensuring equal treatment of clubs where the impact of COVID-19 may be realised in different reporting periods due to clubs’ various fiscal year ends and domestic league calendars;
• addressing the actual problem which is revenue shortfall due to COVID-19 and not financial mismanagement;
• retaining the spirit and intent of financial fair play for football’s long-term viability.
The key elements covered by the addendum are:
Overdue payables – valid during season 2020/21
• all clubs competing in UEFA competitions must prove as at 31 July (instead of 30 June) and 30 September that they do not have any overdue payables in respect of transfers, employees and social/tax authorities as a result of obligations due to be paid up to 30 June and 30 September respectively;
• all clubs competing in UEFA competitions must report accounts receivable information in respect of transfers as at 30 June and 30 September so as to allow cross-matching of information with accounts payables of other clubs.
Break-even rule – valid during seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22
• the assessment of financial year 2020 is postponed for one season, and will be assessed together with the financial year 2021;
• the 2020/2021 monitoring period is curtailed and only covers two reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018 and 2019);
• the 2021/2022 monitoring period is extended and covers four reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018-2019-2020 and 2021).
• the financial years 2020 and 2021 are assessed as one single period;
• the adverse impact of the pandemic is neutralised by averaging the combined deficit of 2020 and 2021 and by further allowing specific COVID-19 adjustments.
Harmonised transfer window
The deadline for player registration for the group stage of the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions has been set to 6 October 2020. As a result, the UEFA Executive Committee called on all member associations to adopt a harmonised end date to the upcoming summer transfer window, with this date set as 5 October 2020.
New members to the UEFA Disciplinary Bodies
Further to statutory changes adopted by the UEFA Congress in March – which now allow, in addition to the UEFA National Associations, the ECA, European Leagues and the UEFA administration to propose members for the UEFA Organs for the Administration of Justice – the following new members were appointed to the UEFA Disciplinary Bodies with a view to allow for more diversity in the composition of these bodies.
Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body
Bobby Barnes (ENG) – proposed by the English FA
Julius Becker (GER) – proposed by the ECA
Madalina Diaconu (ROM) – proposed by the UEFA administration
Neil Doncaster (SCO) – proposed by European Leagues
Aine Power (IRL) – proposed by the UEFA administration
Célia Šašic (GER) – proposed by the UEFA administration
UEFA Appeals Body
Marta Cruz (POR) – proposed by the UEFA administration
Pierre François (BEL/FRA) – proposed by European Leagues
Claude Ramoni (SUI) – proposed by the ECA
UEFA heading guidelines
UEFA’s Executive Committee approved heading guidelines for young footballers which aim to help protect their health and ensure their safety both in training sessions and match play.
This follows on the results of two studies commissioned by UEFA in 2018, with independent research groups at the University of Saarland (Germany) and Hampden Sports Clinic and Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board (Scotland).
Recommendations and advice are given on specific aspects such as ball size and pressure and the need for neck-strengthening exercises.
National Associations may issue additional regulations but should include the UEFA guidelines as a minimum.
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw procedure
The draw procedure for the European Qualifiers 2021/22 was approved – pending final confirmation from FIFA – and will see ten groups – five groups of six and five groups of five – compete in home and away matches. The ten group winners will be qualified directly whereas the ten group runners-up will progress to the play-offs, where they will be joined by two teams from the UEFA Nations League, to determine the last three qualified European teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
New format for Women’s U-17 and Women’s U-19 championships
The UEFA Executive Committee approved a new competition format to allow for further development of elite youth players as part of UEFA’s continuous commitment to women’s football.
The format is based on a league style qualifying format according to these key principles:
• For the first season, competition entries will be divided, using coefficient rankings, into two leagues (A and B)
• In each league, groups of 4 teams will play mini-tournaments
• The winners of each mini-tournament in league B will be promoted and the last-placed teams in league A mini-tournaments will be relegated.
• League A Round 2 will replace the current elite round with the winners (and best runner-up) qualifying for the final tournament
• After Round 2, the winners of mini-tournaments in league B will be promoted and the last-placed teams in league A will be relegated for Round 1 of the next edition of the tournament
Final tournament hosts
• Final tournament hosts will be drawn into a league according to their coefficient and play as any other team throughout the competition. Their place in the final tournament will nevertheless be guaranteed, irrespective of their results.
The new format will ensure more competitive balance because all teams will play against similarly ranked teams while still giving the opportunity to every team to qualify for every final tournament.
It also guarantees a minimum of either 5 or 6 competitive matches per season – taking place in the already existing competition windows.
Moreover, final hosts will be included in the qualifying rounds, providing competitive matches before the final tournament.
This new format will be implemented as of season 2021/22.