What is Financial Fair Play (FFP)?
UEFA says: "Financial fair play is about improving the overall financial health of European club football."
At its most basic it means clubs are not allowed to spend more than they earn.
When does it come into play?
FFP started in 2011 but this season is the first time the 'break even' rule came into play. The first assessment is being made by UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) on April 14th and 15th 2014. Decisions on sanctions are expected to be announced in the first week of May.
Does any club making a loss fail FFP?
In a word, no. Clubs can spend up to €5million more than they earn per three-year assessment period. Clubs can also exceed this limit if the money comes directly from its owner, like Chelsea's Roman Abramovich or Man City's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan.
In that case, the limits are:
• €45m for seasons 2013/14 and 2014/15
• €30m for seasons 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18
Following 2018, these limits will be lower, with the exact amount still to be decided.
What are the sanctions facing clubs that fail FFP?
- deduction of points
- withholding of revenues from a UEFA competition
- prohibition on registering new players in UEFA competitions
- restriction on the number of players that a club may register for participation in UEFA competitions
- disqualification from competitions in progress and/or exclusion from future competitions
- withdrawal of a title or award
UEFA initially looked at imposing transfer embargoes on clubs too but their lawyers advised that they were legally not enforceable.