FIFA president Gianni Infantino called yesterday for discussions over proposals to introduce salary and transfer fee caps to football in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. World football’s governing body intends to finalise plans in the coming weeks for a financial relief package following the economic damage caused to the sport by the global health crisis.
FIFA announced in April it would release $150mn (133mn euros) to its 211 member associations “as the first step of a relief plan”. UEFA shortly afterwards said it had allocated 236.5mn euros to its 55 member federations.
Last month, the German FA and Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urged industry talks about a salary cap and reforming the transfer system to keep football “credible”.
“On the financial and governance aspects, I also heard some interesting proposals on a wide range of topics,” Infantino wrote in an open letter to FIFA’s members.
“From salary caps to transfer fee caps or other taxation mechanisms, to the possible obligation for governing bodies, competition organisers and clubs to build reserves or to contribute to a reserve fund which can be of assistance in hours of need such as now. I personally advocate for clearer and stricter financial regulations, imposing full transparency and good governance principles, and not only limiting this to the transfer system, but to the entire football ecosystem. FIFA is doing already a lot of work on this area, even if we face some strong vested interests who fight against our plea for a better global governance in our sport.”
A recent study by accounting firm KPMG said the transfer value of players in 10 of Europe’s top leagues could plummet by up to 10bn euros due to the economic crash caused by coronavirus.
The French league, declared over in late April, said it would have to take out a government-guaranteed loan of some 225mn euros to tide over clubs impacted by the loss in income from broadcasters. Last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham have received a £175mn loan from the Bank of England to help them through the crisis as the club predicted losses of £200mn over the next year.
Infantino is hoping to push through the rescue package by the time of the next FIFA council meeting later this month.
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