Liverpool facing new Premier League threat after UEFA decision

UEFA have confirmed they will temporarily postpone Financial Fair Play this summer in a move that could impact Liverpool next season.

The European governing body are relaxing FFP measures this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen leagues across the continent either suspended or prematurely curtailed.

Financial uncertainty is likely to heavily distort the transfer market over the coming months with clubs having to cope with the loss of revenue through lack of games and, when they are played, predominantly being held behind closed doors.

UEFA implemented FFP to 2011 to protect clubs from spending more than they earn, with penalties including disqualification from European competitions, fines and transfer bans.

Under normal circumstances, FFP’s “break-even rule” is calculated once per year. However, UEFA will now postpone the 2020 calculation and instead have it assessed together with the financial year in 2021.

A UEFA statement said the emergency measures aim at “giving clubs more time to quantify and account for unanticipated loss of revenues” and “neutralising the adverse impact of the pandemic by allowing clubs to adjust the break-even calculation for revenue shortfalls reported in 2020 and 2021, while at the same time protecting the system from potential abuses”.

Nevertheless, it opens up the possibility of clubs spending big in the forthcoming transfer window provided they believe they can make up any potential revenue shortfall before the next FFP calculations are made next year.

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Chelsea, flush with cash from the sale of Eden Hazard last season and the imminent departure of Alvaro Morata, have already spent heavily ahead of the new campaign while Manchester United are expected to do the same this summer.

By contrast, it is understood Liverpool backed away from a move for Timo Werner, who has joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig for around £50million, due to concerns over the price of the player given the shifting financial landscape.

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Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have been long-term advocates of FFP and have admitted it was a contributory factor to them buying the club in October 2010.

UEFA have also stated they want Europe to have a unified transfer window ending on October 5, given the deadline for player registration for European club competitions is the following day.

Premier League clubs have yet to vote on when to set the transfer deadline, with it likely the window will only open once the current season has been completed.

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