West Ham must heed Uefa fine warning


UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body has fined Manchester United €300,000 (£256,744) for a “minor break even deficit” under its Financial Fair Play rules.

The CFCB found United did not meet their target to approach break even on football-related business, including player transfers, wages and social taxes.

A Manchester United statement read: “While disappointed by the outcome, Manchester United accepts this fine for what UEFA acknowledges to be a minor technical breach of its previous Financial Fair Play rules.

“This reflected a change in the way that UEFA adjusted for Covid-19 losses during the 2022 reporting period, which allowed us to recognise only €15m (£12.8m) of the €281m (£240.5m) of revenues lost due to the pandemic within the FFP calculation.

The Manchester United fine is a minor slap on the wrist for the Premier League club but West Ham supporters should not believe that UEFA FFP no longer matters.

This fine only relates to losses over the COVID pandemic and the truth is the Manchester club losses were somewhere in between the two quoted figures.

In comparison West Ham posted losses of £65m in 2020 and it remains to be seen if the Hammers and others will receive a fine for a similar offence after UFEA only allowed £15m for Manchester United.

UEFA rules allow losses of over £50m over three years rolling but exceptions were made with the pandemic, it has been argued many clubs over stated their losses to take advantage of those exceptions.

West Ham found themselves on a UEFA financial watch list last season after breaching UEFA FFP over the pandemic period.

UEFA want to get tough on FFP breaches and can enforce transfer bans and/or removal from European competitions for the worst offenders.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon