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Spanish court strikes blow at financial fair play


We have argued for some time that financial fair play (FFP) rules at the European and domestic level are open to legal challenge.   In an order of November 17th the Spanish Commercial Court has struck a blow at the rules of La Liga on FFP.

La Liga had penalised Getafe by preventing them from playing Pedro León.   They argued that by doing so it would have exceeded the total amount of money it could pay to players under the Spanish FFP rules. The Court was asked for an interim measure to allow him to play.

The Court's ruling is interesting in terms of the application of EU competition policy rules with which FFP is arguably at variance.   The grouds given are that the FFP rules constitute an abuse of dominant position that could not be justified.

The Court affirmed that there are other alternatives to the FFP rules which are less restrictive of the freedom of entrepreneurship, the free market principle and the fundamental right to work.