GENEVA — UEFA is withholding Europa League champion Atletico Madrid’s prize money from this season’s competition while it investigates the club for breaching “financial fair play” rules.
UEFA says Atletico is among 23 clubs whose prize money from this season’s Champions League or Europa League could be stopped because of overdue payments of transfer fees, wages and social taxes up to the end of June.
Malaga, Sporting Lisbon and Fenerbahce also are being investigated.
This is good. Prize money, whilst not in the same category as barring teams from competing in the Champions League/Europa League, is a decent warning shot to clubs who blithely assumed they could sort of wing it well ahead of FFP.
The only issue is the move could be viewed by smaller clubs as UEFA using its muscle against financially insecure, smaller clubs, rather than risk the wrath of the big boys of the European Club Association who could at any point threaten to form their little super league.
But at least UEFA is demonstrating they’re willing to take action, I suppose.