When FFP was first introduced, most people wondered what loop-holes high-spending clubs would find to get round the rules. Now that we have seen the first published accounts for the first FFP season (2011/12), we have a much better idea about the various options clubs might use.

UEFA are very serious about the analysis of the club accounts and are using accountants, largely from the top two firms, to check accounts for any clubs using non-authorised techniques to help them Break Even.

I have attached a list of the techniques I have seen so far and recommend you read the list whilst listening to the audio from the seminar I gave at Birckbeck (University of London) recently.  The audio can be accessed here 58.40mins in.  

The loop-holes outlined in this presentation/article are all ones the auditing accountants are aware of and are lined up to spot. Where a non-standard practice is used, the accountants will submit an impact assessments to UEFA's Control Body.

Please note that in the audio, I refer several times to the Club Financial Control Board (it is of course the Club Financial Control Body)

uPure Related Party transaction e.g. PSG sponsor

uMixed Related Party transaction e.g. Etihad deal
uDeclared Related Party transaction e.g. City sale of ‘intellectual property and know how’
uNon football-related income e.g. Real’s Dubai complex, Trabzonspor’s Hydro-Electric power plant
uChanging accounting duration e.g. Liverpool
uTransactions & costs outside club accounts
uPlayer write-down in season prior to FFP e.g. Man City
uCancelled provision e.g. Ancelotti at Chelsea
uExclusions e.g. Youth/Community spend
uAccount auditing issues
uState Subsidies
uMembership fees
uTax differences

As a post script to this article, I have since become aware of a further potential loop-hole that seems to have been used by some Ukrainian and Russian teams - 'artificial timing of the Euro exchange rate'.  UEFA's Break Even limits are all denominated in euros and where the exchange rate fluctuates over the year, a club may decide to choose an incorrect transaction date (i.e. on where the exchange rate is the most favourable). Again, this should be picked up the accountants.