UEFA prepares a package of 6,000 million to help clubs

UEFA prepares a package of 6,000 million to help clubs

UEFA is finalizing the details of a rescue package valued at 6 billion euros to help European football recover from the impact of the pandemic, according to sources close to the governing body of continental football.

The funding is part of a three-pronged strategy proposed by UEFA, to be unveiled in the coming weeks, to help clubs after more than a year of stadium closures, as well as falling revenue from broadcasts.

UEFA’s plan includes a financing mechanism of between 2,000 and 6,000 million euros, an emergency fund to protect against future crises and new rules on financial fair play, say the sources consulted by Bloomberg, who asked not to be identified by be confidential information.

Under the proposals, clubs will have access to funds with lower interest rates and will be able to restructure existing debt over longer periods of five to seven years. UEFA has held discussions with London-based investment firm Centricus Asset Management about financing the plans, as Bloomberg advanced in April. From UEFA they have declined to comment.

The measures come at a precarious time for the ‘beautiful game’, which saw the pandemic disrupt play in major European competitions, including the iconic Champions League. The European soccer market contracted for the first time since the financial crisis in the 2019/2020 season, according to a July Deloitte report, with revenue falling 13% to €25.2 billion.

That has put even the most prestigious clubs in check. Barça has not been able to find money to support Lionel Messi, the best player in its history. The Argentine signed this week with PSG, the Parisian team backed by Qatar.

UEFA will try to prevent super-wealthy owned clubs, including English teams like Chelsea or Manchester City, from gaining an unfair advantage in the European leagues by introducing new caps on player salaries.

Earlier this year, Barça was part of a group of top-tier football teams that aimed to increase and safeguard future revenue by breaking free from the UEFA Champions League to form a new European Super League, a project that continues to support the side of Real Madrid and Juventus.