The European Club Association held its ordinary Assembly in Istanbul, with President Nasser Al Khelaifi taking the opportunity to welcome the reintroduction of Financial Fair Play as part of his keynote speech.
Whilst somewhat odd considering the club he works for, Paris Saint-Germain, has consistently railed against the fabric of FFP since its introduction, yet the speech was full of praise for the economic changes introduced in the new FFP format.
“The new financial sustainability rules are a positive development. The rules control costs and expenses,” Al Khelaifi declared.
“They encourage investment and new investors. They will help to ensure the sustainability of football in the future.
“We have to be careful with debt levels because injecting capital in a magical way is not a sustainable way forward.
“We have to think long term, not short term.”
Now it is known that Barcelona managed to steadied their ship in financial terms through the use of economic levers, and this last statement seemed like a targeted one, especially given the rivalry between PSG and Los Cules.
“The ECA will continue to build positive relationships with all stakeholders: FIFA, UEFA and other confederations, the leagues, the national associations and the fans,” he continued.
“Everyone within European football should do more to benefit the whole game.”
The PSG president also took the opportunity to throw his weight behind the idea that more should be made of European club competitions, especially the Champions League and the European Super Cup.
“The ECA has also worked closely with UEFA on the new men’s competition format post-2024. There will be more exciting matches.” he explained.
“The competitions will be more inclusive. Our revenues will grow.
“We have already seen this in France and the UK, and in the US our growth is over 150%, with the sale of Spanish-language rights.
“We plan to work with Paramount+. We have to work along those lines.
“Revenue sharing is the next important issue for European football. The ECA has always promised to put collective interests above individual interests to protect our clubs and the ECA.
“The distribution has to be fair. We want all male and female competitions to grow.”
Javier Tebas’ response
LaLiga Santander president Javier Tebas took to social media to respond to Nasser Al Khelaifi after his harsh ‘dig’ at Barcelona during the ECA’s ordinary Assembly.
“There is no magic. Barcelona have sold part of their assets to cover their losses, at PSG on the other hand you ‘turn on the gas’. For a sustainable world of football, the first thing is to pay what is owed, isn’t it?” he posted.