Issue 3 | 2021

1. Analyzing the effectiveness of UEFA's financial fair play regulations: A comparative study of the French Ligue 1 and the English Premier League

Aurélien François ; Nadine Dermit-Richard ; Daniel Plumley ; Robert Wilson.
This article assesses the effectiveness of the UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, one of the few financial regulatory tools for open leagues in Europe in two top divisions in Europe. The objective of FFP borrows from the theoretical concept of ‘soft budget constraint’ in sport finance and regulation literature. Introduced by UEFA in 2011 and fully implemented from 2013, FFP requires clubs qualifying for European competitions to comply with the financial concept of “break-even”, where football expenses should not exceed football revenues. This study uses the French Ligue 1 (L1) and the English Premier League (PL) as a case study for analysing the effectiveness of FFP and includes thirteen clubs (seven French and six English) in total. The selection of clubs was guided firstly by data access but was also restricted to clubs regularly participating in European competitions between 2011, when FFP came into effect, and 2018. The scope of the study enabled us to measure the effect of FFP with regard to the break-even rule and the payroll ratios before and after its full application by comparing the periods 2008-2013 and 2013-2018 using descriptive statistics and tests of comparisons. The results are contrasted according to the national context of the clubs studied and the indicators analysed. First, they show a general improvement in the profitability of the clubs in the sample, although the results are statistically significant only in the case of the PL. […]
Section: Research articles