‘Not good for football’ - Aston Villa echo Newcastle United’s FFP concerns following Champions League qualification

Newcastle United have been frustrated by FFP/PSR restrictions following the Saudi-backed takeoverNewcastle United have been frustrated by FFP/PSR restrictions following the Saudi-backed takeover
Newcastle United have been frustrated by FFP/PSR restrictions following the Saudi-backed takeover | Getty Images
Aston Villa are one of several Premier League clubs thought to be on the brink of breaching FFP/PSR restrictions

Aston Villa owner Nassef Sawiris has slammed the Premier League’s FFP/PSR rules - insisting they “cement the status quo” and are “not good” for football.

These bold comments come just weeks after Villa secured Champions League qualification for the first time since its 1992 rebrand. Unai Emery’s men finished fourth - replicating Newcastle United’s achievement the previous season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Magpies failed to replicate those heights in 2024-25, with added demands from European travel contributing towards an unprecedented injury list. At the height of Newcastle’s woes, financial restrictions stopped Toon chiefs from bolstering the squad in January.

That is despite the Magpies boasting the richest owners in world football - worth an estimated £700billion. Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley hit out at the “limiting” regulations earlier this year.

“Sometimes, when you over-regulate, you can slow growth and we have to make sure that we get the right balance between the right regulatory environment, the right rules and the right Financial Fair Play rules that promote growth,” she said. “That's the only way you're going to get great football.

"Football is difficult. You have very limiting Financial Fair Play rules. You have so many rules and restrictions about player purchases so it really does probably need some fresh thinking."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Villa are now concerned about breaching FFP/PSR guidelines despite finishing fourth - an almost identical situation to Newcastle last year. Sawiris, the world’s richest Egyptian who bought the club in 2018, has condemned the Premier League measures he believes are anti-competitive.

“Some of the rules have actually resulted in cementing the status quo more than creating upward mobility and fluidity in the sport,” Sawiris told the Financial Times. “The rules do not make sense and are not good for football.

“Managing a sports team has become more like being a treasurer or a bean counter rather than looking at what your team needs. It’s more about creating paper profits, not real profits. It becomes a financial game, not a sporting game.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.