Official Statement I Financial Fair-Play
It is in the same spirit that's been prevalent since the arrival of Frank McCourt as owner in October 2016 that he has made considerable efforts with his management team to develop a highly competitive sporting ambition while restoring the economic stability of Olympique de Marseille. As expected, this recovery strategy was accompanied by a massive restructuring with significant operational losses in the short term. UEFA has always communicated that a change of ownership is a situation to be taken into account when implementing financial fair play rules, especially when it comes after a period of little or no 'investment. When the new ownership arrived, the club was bloodless and needed significant investment to get it back on track. That's what Frank McCourt did with his own financial resources and investments.
The full implementation of our project requires significant resources. We have invested heavily in infrastructure (stadium, training centres, equipment, training, marketing, media). The Club has also recruited and brought in new skills. But also, and above all, invested in our professional First Team teams, which at the time were limited and uncompetitive. The goal is to build a strong foundation by keeping the best players rather than selling. Finally, everyone will have seen that in the last two years OM did not achieve significant sales of players to balance its accounts, an economic model that's widespread in the French professional football.
OM's financial situation is today healthier. The Club intends to continue on this path because balanced financial statements, together with our sporting ambitions, constitute one of the essential pillars of our project.
It's fair to note, however, that a strict application of financial fair play rules, particularly in the context of a change of ownership, may only favor clubs with unlimited financial resources.
Combining the already in effect efforts, which are vital for a club, and excessive spending on the same level could have a detrimental effect on individual investors, who together can contribute to the growth of Ligue 1 and improve the competitiveness and sustainability of European football as a whole. UEFA must then take this into account and find the right balance when it comes to pronouncing judgments on financial fair play. As a club, we will remain vigilant that the road to the highest levels of European football remain open to clubs supported by entrepreneurs. As in other business, the rules of competition must ensure that newcomers can top the list and that incumbent operators do not resort to anti-competitive practices to create barriers to competition. While financial fair play has been designed to ensure fair playing conditions for all clubs, it is obvious and paradoxical that inequalities in football between the haves and the have-nots have never been greater since its creation. Financial fair play must remain faithful to its original purpose.
Our settlement agreement with UEFA must ensure that this remains possible. We are, more than ever, determined to show the highest ambitions for our sports project.