Premier League to join forces with Ligue 1 to lobby Uefa over third-party ownership in Financial Fair Play

The practice of raising revenue by selling stakes in players is banned in England and France but legal elsewhere, and the two countries hope to level the playing field
The Premier League will join forces with Ligue 1 to lobby Uefa over the issue of third-party ownership with regards to the soon to be enforced Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

The practice of allowing outside parties to own portions of a player’s rights was outlawed in England following controversy over Carlos Tevez’s registration at West Ham in 2006. It is also banned in France but continues to be legal elsewhere in Europe.

The two leagues believe that third-party ownership poses a threat to the balance and integrity of European competition and could potentially see English and French sides left behind.

“Third-party ownership is prohibited under Premier League rules as we believe it threatens the integrity of the game,” said a spokesman for the Premier League.

“We are aware that it is permitted under Uefa's financial fair play regulations and that this could create a disadvantage for our clubs competing in European competition.

“We believe that restricting transparent owner equity investment while having no prohibition on third-party player investment seems at odds with the principles of FFP.

“The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) also restricts third-party ownership and we have had initial discussions with them to consider how we might work together to further highlight these issues at Uefa and Fifa level.”

The Guardian reports that Uefa has promised to consider the issue but that it privately doubts whether it is a significant problem. The paper suggests that the two leagues are more likely to seek a compromise in which the proceeds that come from selling part of a player’s rights are not counted towards a club’s balance in FFP rules.

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