This Wednesday Europe’s football-governing body UEFA has officially announced a formal investigation into Liverpool and six other clubs from the continent for possibly violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Inter Milan, Roma, Monaco, Sporting Lisbon, Besiktas and Krasnodar are the other clubs that accompany the Premiership side on this list.
All European clubs had recently handed over their financial records for the past season but these clubs will be asked to provide further information of their accounts.
While the FFP rules orders every club to restrict their losses to £35.4 million over a two-year period Liverpool reported a loss of £49.8 million for the 2012-13 season in addition to the £40.5 million debit for the 10 month period prior to that.
“The clubs disclosed a break-even deficit on the basis of their financial reporting periods ending in 2012 and 2013,” read the statement released by UEFA.
“These clubs will need to submit additional monitoring information during October and November upon the deadlines set by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, subsequent to which, an additional communication shall be made and conservatory measures may be imposed.”
Any immediate sanctions on these clubs will be quite unlikely which gives the fans, especially the ones from Liverpool, Roma and Monaco which are all making a return to the UEFA Champions’ League this season, no too much to be really concerned about just yet.
However Liverpool remains quietly confident that the club would be able to avoid any penalties with a few lucrative new sponsorship deals on their way which will cut off the deficit by a fair amount.
Manager Brendan Rodgers echoed the opinion the club saying everyone at the club is comfortable with UEFA’s investigation because they support the Finnacial Fair Play system.
“It’s obviously something that will be dealt with by the directors. It’s something we’re comfortable with because we’re great advocates of financial fair play. It’s ongoing with the club,” Rodgers said.
Also the Liverpool board firmly believe that the club will show a profit for the 2013-14 season when the records are officially released next spring.
Moreover, FFP rules allow exemptions on certain kinds of expenditures by football clubs, especially ones pertaining to youth development and stadium expenditure and the Reds would argue that £35 million of their debt from 2011-12 season stemmed from former co-owner Tom Hicks’ aborted plans for a new stadium at Stanley Park.
Last season Manchester City and Paris St. Germain, two of the biggest spenders in Europe over the past few years were heavily penalised for breaching FFP rules which force clubs to employ a healthy amount of “home-grown” players and to not spend beyond their means.