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Exclusive: Football finance expert Kieran Maguire on what being on UEFA FFP watchlist means for West Ham

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Exclusive: Football finance expert Kieran Maguire on what being on UEFA FFP watchlist means for West Ham

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has spoken exclusively to Hammers News about what being on the UEFA FFP watchlist means for West Ham.

It was announced yesterday that last season’s Europa League semi-finalists West Ham are among four Premier League clubs to have been placed on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play watchlist.

The Hammers, Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester will now be “monitored closely in the upcoming period” and have been asked to provide additional financial information.

Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

West Ham have avoided sanctions from European football’s governing body for now due to “exceptional COVID deductions and consideration of historical financial results”.

UEFA has been analysing the spending of European clubs for compliance with FFP rules between the financial years 2018 to 2022.

The Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) examined the financial affairs of all the clubs participating in the 2021-22 UEFA competitions.

Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

In a statement, UEFA warned West Ham and the other 18 European clubs on the watchlist that the “exceptional COVID deductions and consideration of historical financial results will no longer be possible from financial year 2023”. 

“These clubs were further asked for additional financial information and will be monitored closely in the upcoming period,” UEFA warned West Ham and the other clubs, which includes last season’s Europa League opponents Sevilla and Lyon.

“The goal of course is that the clubs’ overall financial situation is in compliance with the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Sustainability Regulations – Edition 2022 in coming years.”

West Ham’s eight summer signings

But how might this impact West Ham in real terms, especially off the back of an unprecedented summer of spending on transfers to the tune of around £160m net?

Hammers News has spoken exclusively to football finance expert Kieran Maguire on what being on UEFA FFP watchlist means for West Ham.

Maguire is the author of The Price of Football books co-presenter of The Price of Football podcasts. He told Hammers News the fines would only relate to income the Hammers have generated in European competition.

And Maguire says West Ham could even take pre-emptive measures to limit any potential future fines.

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

“Past experience suggests clubs under the microscope, as West Ham now are, tend to adjust their spending levels and keep within the limits,” Maguire told Hammers News.

“I have seen some clubs report themselves to the UEFA Chamber if think they will be in breach in order to negotiate a lower penalty.

“The fines are subtracted from the UEFA payouts from participating in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League etc.”

Photo by Lukas Schulze – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

UEFA’s FFP regulations are even stricter than those in the English top flight. From this summer, the allowable losses are just over £50m (or 60m Euros), compared to £105m in the Premier League.

The fact West Ham will not be able to use the exceptional COVID deductions and consideration of historical financial results from financial year 2023 probably partly explains this summer’s big spending spree.

The Evening Standard claims West Ham are confident of falling in line with the regulations.

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