UEFA has been working on a $6.3 billion rescue fund for the past year to assist European soccer clubs in recovering from pandemic-related financial woes, but has reportedly paused the plans.
Problems have surfaced over details about how the fund would sit within UEFA and be distributed to clubs. It was set to include an emergency funding facility, a separate amount for future crises, and new rules regarding financial fair play.
Citigroup was hired to arrange the package, but will only get its full fee if the fund is a success.
While the fund could materialize in the future, UEFA is reportedly looking at other options including a separate board.
No matter the option UEFA ends up choosing, it’s clear that most European clubs need the assistance.
Deloitte reported that the European soccer market contracted (13%) for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008/09.
The same report found that the “big five” European leagues saw revenue decline 11% in 2019/20 to around $16.4 billion from $18.6 billion the season prior.
Previous reports said clubs would be able to restructure existing debt and have access to funds at lower borrowing rates as part of the package.