Former Manchester United chairman, and current United director, David Gill has been appointed chairman of UEFA’s extremely influential Club Licensing Committee.
The Club Licensing Committee essentially decides which clubs are entitled to licences to play Champions League and Europa League football. This will become increasingly important as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules shape the landscape of European football in the coming years.
Gill is a known proponent of FFP, and he was one of the leaders behind the Premier League adopting similar rules in English domestic football back in January.
Gill’s appointment will certainly raise eyebrows at clubs such as Man City and Chelsea who are currently striving to ensure their losses are no greater than the €45m (£38m) limit allowed by FFP across the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.
The big issue with FFP is whether UEFA has the balls to tell a Monaco, PSG, Man City or Chelsea that they cannot play in the Champions League because they are not in compliance with FPP rules. Eighteen months ago in an interview on FFP, Gill said that the new European system would only work if ‘appropriate sanctions’ were imposed on those who missed the targets.
Now he is one of the ones enforcing the sanctions! But the fact that Gill is a United director and board member is a massive conflict of interest. Imagine a scenario where Man United come in 5th in the Premier League behind City and Chelsea, both who continue to invest heavily in the transfer market. Is it possible for Gill to advocate that City or Chelsea are not following Uefa’s FPP rules and that as a result they should be banned from the Champions League for one season? And if that happens, guess what, the fifth placed team in the Premier League (Man United) gets the slot instead.