UEFA has questioned a ruling made by the Brussels Court of First Instance in relation to a case challenging Financial Fair Play rules (FFP).
The Belgian court referred the case – brought by several claimants including football agent Daniel Striani – to the European Court of Justice, a decision that UEFA – who remain confident their FFP plans remain within the law – are querying.
FFP regulations are designed to ensure clubs in European competition only spend what they earn – with some flexibility – with the likes of Manchester City and Inter already falling foul of the law, although those rules could be eased in the coming weeks.
In a statement, the governing body said: “UEFA takes note of the recent decision of the Brussels Court of First Instance in the Striani case challenging the UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
“The Brussels Court has declared itself incompetent to hear this case on the merits. However, at the same time, the court referred a question to the European Court of Justice and also indicated that the reduction of the so called ‘acceptable deviation’ from €45 million to €30 million should be provisionally put on hold.
“UEFA considers it strange that a national court having no competence to hear a dispute on the merits would, at the same time, refer a question to the European Court of Justice or make a provisional order.
“In any event, UEFA remains fully confident that FFP is entirely in line with EU law, and that the European Court will in due course simply confirm this to be the case.
“In the meantime, UEFA will appeal this decision of the Brussels Court to the Court of Appeal. Since an appeal automatically suspends the ruling of the lower court, it means that UEFA can proceed with the next phase of implementation of FFP, as already planned and as supported by the vast majority of stakeholders in European football as well as the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Europe.
“UEFA is, in addition, considering further adjustments to the FFP rules in light of the substantially improved position in European football club finance which has been brought about directly as a result of the implementation of FFP. This matter will be considered by the UEFA Executive Committee when it meets in Prague next week.”