UEFA declare war on 'dubious' capital gains: Italian clubs at risk

18 February at 19:00
In the last couple of days, there has been a lot of talk about Financial Fair Play regulations, mainly in relation to Manchester City's ban from the Champions League. But this could end up to be just the tip of the iceberg of much more to come.

As reported by Corriere dello Sport (via calcionapoli24.it), UEFA are ready to target 'dubious' capital gains and in particular the abuse of the so-called 'player trading' to put the accounts of clubs in order. Not to mention the ghost players in exchanges for the purpose of imaginary capital gains or the armies of players sent on loan for the purpose of keeping them in the balance.

The 'game of capital gains' has become essential for many clubs to make ends meet. To demonstrate on an example: a club buys a player for 10 million euros, gives him a five-year contract and after two years, when he has a residual value of 6 million thanks to the amortization, they exchange him with another player, both valued at 10 million. Just like that, there is a capital gain of 4 million. And if clubs sell players from their youth system, it is even more evident.

A study by the FIGC revealed that in 2016/17 capital gains represented around 22% of the revenues of Italian football. And many of those are very suspicious, as Italian clubs are amongst those that rely most on capital gains to make ends meet. But this practice is expanding across the whole continent.

The fear of UEFA is not only the 'dubious' business but also the fact that if a club has to stand on capital gains to move forward, then the market aspect is overly privileged over the sports one.

What steps to take? It's all to be decided. One idea is that capital gains revenue will only partially affect financial statements for Financial Fair Play purposes.

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