Marseille fined €3 million by UEFA for breaching FFP rules but allowed to retain Champions League spot next season

Marseille fined €3 million by UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play rules but allowed to retain Champions League spot next season

The Associated Press June 19, 2020 22:23:52 IST
Marseille fined €3 million by UEFA for breaching FFP rules but allowed to retain Champions League spot next season

Nyon, Switzerland: French club Marseille was ordered to pay a fine of €3 million ($3.4 million) to UEFA on Friday for breaking rules that monitor club finances.

UEFA said the American-owned club will retain its place in next season's Champions League but will forfeit 15 percent of its European competition prize money over the next two seasons.

Marseille fined 3 million by UEFA for breaching FFP rules but allowed to retain Champions League spot next season

Representational image. Reuters

Marseille’s place in the group stage of next season's Champions League is worth tens of millions of euros (dollars). The three French clubs in the competition last season each got at least €41 million ($46 million) from UEFA.

Marseille’s squad will also be limited to 23 senior players instead of 25 for the next three seasons in UEFA club competitions.

The team, coached by André Villas-Boas, was in second place behind Paris Saint-Germain when the league was ended early amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Villas-Boas has revived the 1993 European champions after being hired by Frank McCourt, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner.

The latest sanctions replace a settlement Marseille agreed to with UEFA last year for earlier breaches of Financial Fair Play rules which cost the club an initial €2 million ($2.2 million).

Marseille had agreed not to exceed a loss of €30 million ($33.6 million) under FFP calculations this season, and limit the ratio of player salaries compared to overall revenue.

UEFA’s signature FFP policy is aimed at stopping reckless spending on salaries and transfer fees, and can lead to bans from European competitions in the most severe cases.

Clubs which qualify for the Champions League or Europa League are required to submit accounts and show they have approached break-even on their player trading and commercial deals without relying on bailouts from wealthy owners.

Critics of FFP say it protects storied clubs with huge fan bases and commercial partners from being challenged by ambitious rivals.

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