How Liverpool can join Chelsea and escape Uefa FFP penalty
Liverpool will need to explain losses but if Chelsea managed it, surely the Reds can too
DESPITE posting an annual loss of £50m, claims that Liverpool will fall foul of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations could be wide of the mark.
The club hailed the figures as proof it had adopted "a measured approach to bring back financial stability" under new owner John W Henry and his Fenway Sports Group.
Others pointed out that FFP rules, which come into force next season, only allow losses of £37m between 2011 and 2013. Liverpool's overall loss for that period stands at £90m.
Uefa has begun the process of deciding which clubs involved in Europe this season it will investigate over their finances. Manchester City are said to be on the list of 76 teams, although Chelsea are not.
Liverpool were not in Europe this year so will only come under scrutiny next season, provided they qualify for the Champions or Europa League. But despite the figures they may not fall foul of the rules.
"As followers of Manchester City and Chelsea are fast realising, massive losses do not necessarily equate to a breach of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations – for which expulsion from Europe is the ultimate sanction," says the Daily Telegraph.
"Spending on infrastructure is exempt from FFP calculations and, as any Liverpool supporter worthy of the name knows, the club have wasted millions on stadium-related projects in the last seven years," it adds.
There are other expenses that do not count, notes The Guardian. "The rules... include exemptions Premier League clubs expect to rely on in order to pass, including expenditure on youth development, stadium and other infrastructure, which Uefa encourages, and an allowance for players' contracts entered into before the rules came into force in 2010."
However, the Telegraph warns that Liverpool are not out of the woods. "Club insiders are uncertain how much profit/loss they would have to make this season to comply," it reports, rating the club's chances of ending up in trouble at three out of five.
That puts Liverpool in the same boat as Manchester City, whose £150m losses in the last two years "are really going to take some explaining".
Chelsea escaped Uefa punishment by convincing the authorities that £16m of their 2012-13 losses were exempt under FFP rules. However "that may still leave them needing to lose no more than around £4.5m this season to comply with the regulations next year", says the Telegraph. ·