UEFA calls for harmonised transfer window

With the deadline for player registration for the group stage of the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions being set to 6 October 2020, the UEFA Executive Committee called on all member associations to adopt a harmonised end date to the upcoming summer transfer window, with this date set as 5 October 2020.

The UEFA Executive Committee met today via videoconference and approved a set of temporary emergency measures as an addendum to the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations to take into account the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the finances of clubs.

Such measures were developed and unanimously supported by all stakeholders within the UEFA Emergency Working Group on Legal, Regulatory and Financial matters which comprises representatives of UEFA, the ECA, European Leagues and FIFPRO Europe.

The newly adopted emergency measures aim at:

• providing flexibility while ensuring that clubs continue to fulfil their transfer and salary obligations on time;
• giving clubs more time to quantify and account for unanticipated loss of revenues;
• neutralising the adverse impact of the pandemic by allowing clubs to adjust the break-even calculation for revenue shortfalls reported in 2020 and 2021, while at the same time protecting the system from potential abuses;
• ensuring equal treatment of clubs where the impact of COVID-19 may be realised in different reporting periods due to clubs’ various fiscal year ends and domestic league calendars;
• addressing the actual problem which is revenue shortfall due to COVID-19 and not financial mismanagement;
• retaining the spirit and intent of financial fair play for football’s long-term viability.

The key elements, apart from the harmonised transfer window, covered by the addendum are:

Overdue payables – valid during season 2020/21

• all clubs competing in UEFA competitions must prove as at 31 July (instead of 30 June) and 30 September that they do not have any overdue payables in respect of transfers, employees and social/tax authorities as a result of obligations due to be paid up to 30 June and 30 September respectively;
• all clubs competing in UEFA competitions must report accounts receivable information in respect of transfers as at 30 June and 30 September so as to allow cross-matching of information with accounts payables of other clubs.

Break-even rule – valid during seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22

• the assessment of financial year 2020 is postponed for one season, and will be assessed together with the financial year 2021;
• the 2020/2021 monitoring period is curtailed and only covers two reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018 and 2019);
• the 2021/2022 monitoring period is extended and covers four reporting periods (financial years ending in 2018-2019-2020 and 2021).
• the financial years 2020 and 2021 are assessed as one single period;
• the adverse impact of the pandemic is neutralised by averaging the combined deficit of 2020 and 2021 and by further allowing specific COVID-19 adjustments.