Does a loan fee factor in to FFP calculations?

Updated: July 11, 2016

With Beşiktaş being their second year of a Financial Fairplay settlemen they are required to balance the books with a deficit no larger than 10 million euros during the monitoring period of the 2016/17 season (source:

With that maximum deficit cut down from 20 million euros last season this means Beşiktaş can’t afford to overspend this season without risking furhter punishment. With that in mind Beşiktaş were hoping to sell off their player Gökhan Töre this summer for an attractive transfer fee, so it came to the surprise of many when it turned out they loaned him out instead. Reports on the initial loan fee vary, Turkish sources claimed it was a ‘mere’ 3 million euros with a further option-to-buy of 13 million euros and sources in the UK claim the loan fee could be as high as 5 million pounds (€5,83m). Regardless of how high or low the loan fee, the main point is that the club can use these funds towards incoming transfers during the summer transfer window. Or can they?


Gökhan Töre is to be loaned off to West Ham United, but can Beşiktaş count on the funds generated from said loan deal to transfer new players? Yes, they can!

Turkish media claim, including someone many Beşiktaş fans trust in Firat Günayer, that a loan fee can not be used towards tranfers. That somehow it wouldn’t count towards Financial Fairplay. We spoke to Ed Thompson of who is an authority on the matter.

“The P&L (profit and loss) needs to include all costs associated with the playing squad for the year. If a club pays a loan fee, that would need to be included (and included in FFP calculations).This would also apply if it received a loan fee”, Thompson continues, “If you think about it, excluding loan fees wouldn’t make sense. If that were allowed, in theory a club could pay significant fees to attract a number of top players on loan but only account for the wages in FFP calculations. The club could run up a huge loss but escape FFP sanction – that wouldn’t stack up.”

Thompson concludes, “On the other side of the coin, any club receiving a loan fee would want to include it in their FFP calculation (and would be able to do this).”

So we can safely say that Beşiktaş will be able to use whatever loan fee they receive for Gökhan Töre towards incoming transfers. Perhaps confusion originated due to the fact that an option-to-buy fee wouldn’t count – which is only logical as it is optional and you have no certainty that the club you’ve loaned your player to will activate said clause.

To sum things, a loan fee can be used during the current monitoring period of 2016/17 to invest in transfers but a potential buyout clause will not (unless the buyout clause is specified in a way where West Ham would need to decide before the January transfer window, or it would automatically activate before the January transfer window. If that would be the case, they could use the potential gains from the buyout clause in January (which at that point would be effective and no longer “optional”).


You can follow Ed Thompson on Twitter and be sure to take a look at his website for any further information on UEFA’s Financial Fairplay initiative.


Source: Beşiktaş International exclusive

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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