Your basket

Join The FSA

UEFA threatens to ban clubs in debt

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

UEFA chief executive David Taylor yesterday warned that clubs who run up unsustainable debts may be barred from European competition in the future.

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference, Taylor said: ‘There would be forms of communication, even warnings or reprimands, before one got to a situation of exclusion but it is absolutely possible.’

The concerns focus on fair competition as clubs who run up huge, unsustainable debts can – in the short term – dominate by hoarding the best players. The longer term consequences can of course be disastrous.

It’s ironic that these concerns were raised at Stamford Bridge, venue for the Leaders in Football conference, as Chelsea are one of the most indebted clubs in the world.

Earlier this year UEFA president Michel Platini attacked the west London club, along with Champions League winners Manchester United, over their levels of debt. Liverpool are also thought to be on his radar along with various Spanish and Italian clubs.

Following Lord Triesman’s comments on Tuesday it is clear that there is an appetite within the FA to regulate debt, whether the attitude is shared by the clubs is another matter.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has defended the vast sums owed saying it was ‘acceptable’ and common practise in business so long as debt is proportionate to income and the levels of risk were properly assessed.

One thing is for sure though, at a time when fans are paying more than ever to watch a game of football, you have to ask. How did they get themselves into this mess?

Related Articles

UEFA urged to reverse blanket ban on away fans

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) are urging UEFA to reverse their decision to put a blanket ban on away fans at European competition this season – arguing instead for a case-by-case approach.

“Dismay, anger & frustration” – West Ham fans on UEFA ban

UEFA stunned West Ham United fans recently when they banned away fans from attending the next European away game with barely a week’s notice. Here Sue Watson from the West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association (WHUISA) talks about the disappointment in East London…

‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ – Did you know about the 50-year ban on women’s football?

This year is an historic one for the women’s game, marking 100 years since the FA banned women’s football from its clubs’ stadiums in 1921. The ban was overturned in 1971 – meaning 2021 is also the 50th anniversary of the FA righting that wrong.

An unknown story – the 1921 ban on women’s football

As many FSA members will know, 2021 is an historic year for the women’s game, marking 100 years since the FA banned women’s football and also 50 years since that ban was lifted.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball