Fair is Foul: A Critical Analysis of UEFA Financial Fair Play

Stefan Szymanski

This paper critically analyzes the rules of the UEFA financial regulatory system for football clubs known as Financial Fair Play (FFP). I argue that the objectives of FFP are not really fairness but financial efficiency and that the rules are unlikely to achieve efficiency. I also contend that even from the perspective of fairness, the rules do little more than substitute one form of inequality for another. Finally I briefly assess the implications for the competition law challenge that was launched in May 2013 against the FFP breakeven rule.