Leeds chief on FFP punishments: "We have to be creative"

3 July 2019

Leeds
Photo: Getty Images The Whites are not the only club at risk of breaching FFP this summer after failing to win Premier League promotion.

Leeds United’s director of football, Victor Orta, says "there’s a new scenario in the Championship" after Birmingham were punished with a points deduction last season for breaking FFP rules.

According to the Whites’ chief, the clubs need to be creative to build a strong squad while avoiding financial sanctions.

Peter Høyer ph@offthepitch.com

"It’s true there’s a new scenario in the Championship after [what] happened last season with Birmingham and the deduction [of] points," Leeds United’s director of football, Victor Orta, told LUTV. 

This is the situation: we need to be creative

Birmingham City were penalised with a nine-point deduction last season when the club admitted having broken Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by exceeding permitted losses by over £9.7 million. According to Orta, the punishment has changed the way Championship clubs need to think to get strong transfers but at the same time avoid breaking the rules. 

"Now [there are] tough regulations in the Financial Fair Play and all the teams need to be creative because now the financial situation is all the people monitor and we need to have responsibility in terms of the new regulations," Orta said. 

Several clubs at risk

Clubs are permitted to lose no more than £39 million over a three-year period, under current regulations. And the rules have struck several clubs. Reading FC and Sheffield Wednesday are currently under a soft transfer embargo and cannot buy players unless approved by the EFL. 

We need to have responsibility in terms of the new regulations

Also, Aston Villa might run into problems with the EFL but the club seem to be trying to avoid breaking FFP rules by exploiting a loophole: selling their stadium and leasing it back - the same way Derby managed to turn two years of losses into a profit earlier this year, and in the process avoided breaching FFP rules.

It is understood that the Owls are trying that same approach.  

Risk or reward

So, the Whites are not the only club at risk of breaching FFP this summer after failing to win Premier League promotion.

"This is the situation: we need to be creative and we need to build a squad with the principal targets and perhaps the idea [that] quality is better than quantity, in my opinion, in this transfer market," said Orta. 

One might ask why the clubs are risking FFP sanctions by over spending, but the answer to that question would quickly cite Wolves, who had success taking the risk, winning promotion, and now playing Europa League the coming season.