Explained: Why Financial Fair Play Would Not Stop Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns have signed big name stars and this has come with some controversial comments from coaches and former players.
Mamelodi Sundowns have signed big name stars and this has come with some controversial comments from coaches and former players.

The words Financial Fair Play (FFP) have been thrown around by coaches and former players who feel Mamelodi Sundowns are winning because of money, but introducing the same regulations to South African football would do little to stop the DStv Premiership champions from signing the players they want.

FFP was introduced by Uefa in 2011 and the purpose was to stop clubs in Europe from spending more money than they generate and that they should have their books balanced over a period of three years. Furthermore, UEFA claims that FFP operates within European Union law.

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Uefa wanted clubs to improve their financial health, to avoid clubs spending more than what they have and, in turn, getting themselves into serious debt, which would affect their survival on the long run. A number of clubs were in serious debt and this led to the introduction of FFP to help ease the problem and get them to live within their means.

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Clubs are allowed to spend €5 million (R93.5 million) more than they earn per assessment period, which lasts three years. The limit becomes €30 million (R561 million) if these losses can be covered by the owners of the club or a related party.

If FFP were to be introduced in South Africa, as some coaches and former players have pleaded, Sundowns would probably be able abide by the rules to due to the deep pockets of the Motsepe family. Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Jabu Mahlangu caused a stir on social media when he mentioned that FFP should be introduced, but the regulations do not stop clubs from buying top players or having a big squad of star players who do not play regularly.

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Perhaps the only way would be for CAF or SAFA to introduce their own rules on how clubs are able to spend their money, to ensure they are financially healthy.

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