Ceferin gives updates on restart of competitions, FFP and the transfer market

20 April at 14:30
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin gave a long interview to Corriere della Sera (via calciomercato.com) in which he took stock of how the European football federation is taking steps for the restart of football across the continent as well as many other aspects of the post-Coronavirus football world.

"The priority is the health of the fans, players and managers. I am optimistic by nature, I think there are options that can allow us to restart cup championships and complete them. We may have to resume without spectators but the most important thing, I think, is playing the matches," he said.

"In such hard times, it would bring people happiness and a certain sense of normalcy even if the matches will only be on TV. It is early to say that we cannot complete the season. The impact would be terrible for clubs and leagues, but we must respect the decisions of the authorities and wait for the permission to return to play."

The Slovenian lawyer and executive went on to speak about the concrete possibilities of when the Champions League and Europa League could be completed, with initial reports saying that the finals of both competitions could be scheduled for the end of August. He also addressed the issue of football without spectators and only on TV and the possible length of such measures. 

"The Champions League and Europa League in August? It depends on when we will restart, if we can do it soon enough, European leagues and cups could be played in parallel. There is no deadline for the cup finals. It all depends on when we will start playing again," Ceferin said.

"Football only on TV? At first, yes, but it is better to play without spectators than not to do it at all. Football would bring back to the fans' homes the emotions and joy they desperately need. The measures will be in force for a limited period, over time we will return to normal. We will still see full stadiums, I am sure.

"Playing in September? I see it difficult enough, it would have a heavy impact on the schedule for the 2020/21 season. We will discuss the post-2024 international calendar and agree on future scenarios but it is early to talk about potential solutions."

Finally, Ceferin took stock of the situation concerning Financial Fair Play regulations and whether something will change in this regarding due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He also addressed the issue of the transfer market as well as the player's contract in this context.

"Financial Fair Play? We have already suspended some conditions but we will not scrape the entire concept. It has brought many benefits, but it must be helping, not an obstacle, we will be flexible. The Manchester City case has been dealt with by an independent body and now is at CAS. It would not be appropriate to comment," the executive added.

"The transfer market and contracts? We must give more flexibility to clubs and players. It seems to me that extending the transfer market is a good solution, he concluded.


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