Skip to main content

Soccer agent takes legal action in financial fair play battle

June 20, 2013 -- Updated 1658 GMT (0058 HKT)
Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont has teamed up with a football agent to contest UEFA's financial fairplay rules.
Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont has teamed up with a football agent to contest UEFA's financial fairplay rules.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Belgian football agent has stepped up his legal challenge against UEFA
  • Daniel Striani is questioning the legality of Financial Fair Play rules
  • Financial Fair Play prevents football clubs from spending beyond their means
  • Striani is being assisted "Bosman rule" lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont

(CNN) -- A Belgian football agent has stepped up his fight to prevent the sport's lawmakers from limiting the spending power of clubs, suggesting teams should be allowed to control their own finances if they pay a "luxury tax."

Daniel Striani is questioning the legality of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules implemented by UEFA, European football's governing body.

Striani teamed up with Jean-Louis Dupont -- the lawyer who in 1995 helped change European law and the freedom of football transfers in the landmark Bosman case -- to lodge a complaint with the European Commission in May.

Now they have launched legal action in the Court of First Instance in Brussels, asking for it to "judge on alleged infringements of both EU competition law and the right to free movement (of workers, services and capital)."

Platini outlines UEFA's racism reforms
Platini on Ferguson and Beckham retirements
Platini: Bundesliga raises the bar

Read: 'Bosman' lawyer takes on UEFA

The duo are challenging UEFA's "break-even" rule, which dictates a football team cannot spend beyond its means. The regulation is supposed to ensure that bigger clubs do not gain an advantage by operating under huge debt guaranteed by wealthy owners.

Striani claims the rule is illegal under European Union law as it is "disproportionate."

He is suggesting that overspending should be allowed with certain conditions, such as if teams agree to pay a "luxury tax" or if there is a change in how revenue is shared in UEFA club competitions.

"This latest legal process is supported by a growing body of economic and legal opinion which argues the UEFA rule is ineffective, illegal and disproportionate given alternative measures available," read a statement released to CNN by Striani's publicist on Thursday.

The European Commission process is ongoing, with a ruling expected in 2014.

Dupont was part of the legal team which represented Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman, whose successful battle to switch clubs at the end of his contract with Standard Liege changed the face of the football transfer market. Players are now allowed to move on free transfers when their deals with clubs expire.

Striani works primarily with young, up-and-coming players. His two most high-profile clients are Yohan Benalouane at Parma in Italy and Denis Odoi at Belgian club Anderlecht.

Malaga became the first major team to fall foul of FFP after UEFA claimed the club owed wages to players and had debts with other football sides as well as the Spanish tax authorities.

UEFA hit the European Champions League quarterfinalists with a two-season ban from continental competition, which was later reduced to one season.

The Spanish club's appeal against that punishment, which included a $400,000 fine, was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
ADVERTISEMENT