West Ham could fall foul of UEFA’s proposed new rules on financial management according to figures from finance expert Kieran Maguire.
A major report in the New York Times this week (22 March) outlines plans from the European governing body to introduce the “biggest reforms of European soccer’s financial controls in a generation”.
The report from `Tariq Panja lays out a system where football-related spending cannot exceed 70% of a club’s revenue, or they could be fined, have points deducted in Europe, or even be relegated to a lesser UEFA competition.
According to figures Maguire posted on Twitter in a thread underneath Panja’s story, the Hammers’ wages and transfer fee amortisation accounted for 101% of their revenue in 2019.
The numbers are taken from that year as they are the last accounts unaffected by Covid-19 so there may have been some change since.
But with the Hammers currently riding the wave of a galvanising Europa League run, that would leave them open to being kicked out of the competition if the rules came in now.
Panja said on Twitter that the measures will be introduced gradually over a period of three years, giving the club time to fix their finances.
But if they wish to be a fixture in Europe for the foreseeable future there is clearly a significant change required.
If they do so they could be in line to benefit from the new rules as the report notes that the spending power of English clubs puts them at an advantage over European rivals.
Based on those 2019 figures, Maguire shared that the club would need to cut £60million off their wage bill to satisfy the regulations.
The lack of transfer expenditure in January would actually be a benefit in that there are no fees to amortise over the coming years.
Roughly £60million from the purchases of Kurt Zouma and Nikola Vlasic, as well as whatever is left over from previous years, will factor in though.
This could be a big opportunity for the club, but changes need to be made to avoid sanction.