Friday 20 October 2017

UEFA President Ceferin considers introducing a salary cap to rein back Europe's wealthy clubs

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is seen with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus and Real Madrid at National Stadium of Wales on June 3, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is seen with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus and Real Madrid at National Stadium of Wales on June 3, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has said that European football's governing body would have to seriously consider introducing a salary cap if they intend to bridge the gap between some of Europe's wealthiest clubs and the rest of their competitors.

In 2016, the transfer expenditure from the five major European leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A) soared to a record €4.2 billion, up €2.7 billion from 2010.

During the last summer transfer window, teams from the the five major European leagues spent €3.7 billion on recruiting new players and Ceferin claims that UEFA will have to consider the possibility of introducing a salary cap if they wish to reduce the gap between the elite clubs and the rest.

"The wealthiest clubs are only getting richer and the gap between them and the rest is getting bigger," Ceferin told Mladina, a weekly magazine based in his native Slovenia.

"In future, we will have to take into serious consideration the possibility of limiting clubs' budgets for players' wages.

"The introduction of a salary cap would force clubs to be more rational. It will be a big battle and winning it would in my opinion represent an historic change."

UEFA introduced Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations in 2012 to prevent clubs from spending more than their generated revenue.

The FFP regulations have had mixed results with the Premier League's Manchester City and Ligue 1's Paris Saint-Germain both fined €60 million in 2014, €40 million of which was suspended, after UEFA rejected both club's arguments that their sponsorship deals and other declared income streams were legitimate.

Ceferin also added that UEFA have no plans to introduce the controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system into UEFA competitions.

The VAR has received very mixed reviews for its introduction at the Confederations Cup in Russia, and Ceferin added that football's authorities must not destroy the sport's 'flow' by reviewing plays intermittently.

"VAR will require a lot of testing to convince me," Ceferin added.

"We do not reject technology but UEFA has no plans yet to introduce the Video Assistant Referee. Granted, the goalline technology has panned out nicely despite its many critics.

"However, we must not destroy the game's flow by letting the action get held up for several minutes every 10 minutes."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport