UEFA Financial Fair Play: Brussels Court refers the Striani case to the European Court of Justice for preliminary ruling

published on 23 June 2015

The Court of First Instance in Brussels has just communicated to the claimants (Daniel Striani, other agents, football fans from several clubs, in particular “Manchester City FC Supporters clubs” and PSG fans) its judgment in their case against UEFA and the Belgian Football Association.

The Court of First Instance in Brussels has just communicated to the claimants (Daniel Striani, other agents, football fans from several clubs, in particular “Manchester City FC Supporters clubs” and PSG fans) its judgment in their case against UEFA and the Belgian Football Association.

To the great satisfaction of the claimants, the Brussels Court:

  1. Grants the interim measure requested by the claimants, i.e. that prohibition is made to UEFA to activate phase 2 of FFP (meaning that the clubs can still have a deficit of €45m, instead of €30m as provided by in phase 2);
  2. Refers the case for a preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice, asking the EU supreme court if the UEFA break-even rule violates the following EU fundamental freedoms: free competition (101 and 102 TFEU), free movement of capital and freedom to invest (63 TFEU), free movement of workers and free movement of services.

The Belgian judge has also decided that the interim measure will remain in force until the EUCJ renders its judgment.

As counsels for the claimants, we believe that this Belgian judgment is the right answer to the FFP issue.  Let’s have the highest EU court examining peacefully its EU legality. We also are convinced that this break-through is one more reason for UEFA to adopt – on 1 July 2015 – the amendments to FFP it has announced.

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