Krasnodar Boss Galitsky Criticizes Financial Fair Play

Krasnodar Boss Galitsky Criticizes Financial Fair Play

Sergey Galitsky, the Russian businessman and owner of FC Krasnodar has spoken out against UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Galitsky believes that Financial Fair Play (FFP) does not suit Russian football.

Galitsky, who is the co-owner and founder of Magnit, Russia’s largest retailer, and as such is worth a reported $8.4 billion, spoke with the Russian business page Rambler News Service where he stated “The big clubs have agreed that they don’t want anyone to join them in the top.”

Galitsky further believes that in “90 percent of the clubs [in Russia] will never even receive the income that Manchester United generates through shirt sales.” Furthermore, Galitsky warns to differentiate between real business and football, “of course if an IT company looses money for a dozen years it will be closed, but this is not the case in football, as business is business, and football is football. In this regard [UEFA] must rethink its strategy [in regards to Financial Fair Play].”

This is not the first time Galitsky has spoken out against UEFA’s FFP regulations. On May 19 2015 Galitsky told the Associated Press that FFP is “too heavy a burden” on Eastern European clubs and prevents them from becoming “competitive at the European level.” This statement came just days after Krasnodar reached a settlement with UEFA, which deemed Krasnodar in breach of FFP regulations.

In the settlement Krasnodar had to guarantee to UEFA that the club will reach full break-even compliance until the 2017-18 season—the club was allowed a deficit of €20 million in 2015, and a deficit of no more than €10 million in 2016. Krasnodar had to further accept a limitation on new player registrations—calculated on the club’s net transfer position in each respective registration period until 2016-17 (in other words the club has to register a transfer plus before buying new players). Furthermore, Krasnodar had to pay a €4 million fine to UEFA. Lastly Krasnodar was limited to registering only 22 players for the Europa League rather than the usual 25 players.

Krasnodar finished the 2014-15 Russian Football Premier League in third place—behind champion Zenit Saint Petersburg, and CSKA Moscow—and it was expected that Krasnodar could become a serious challenger for the title. Yet the UEFA punishment in May meant that Krasnodar was not able to make any major investments on the transfer market, and the club was limited to signing players that were available on free transfers.

As a result Krasnodar had a slow start to the season, and was regarded as one of the biggest disappointments of the first few games of the 2015-16 RFPL season. Five wins in the last six games before the winter break have, however, meant that Krasnodar are now sixth, with only seven points separating them from league leaders CSKA Moscow—Krasnodar are now even on points with fourth-placed Spartak Moscow and fifth-placed Zenit.

Yet the positive results before the winter break have done little to erase Galitsky’s frustration with UEFA Financial Fair Play. Furthermore, Galitsky seems to have a powerful ally, as Zenit’s General Director Maksim Mitrofanov has also recently spoken out against UEFA’s FFP regulations. Hence, the timing seems impeccable, and suggests that Russian clubs could soon form a united front against regulations imposed by UEFA.

By Manuel Veth –