The Court of Arbitration for Sport is bracing for a flurry of cases related to UEFA rules that aim to curb debt in Europe's football leagues by clamping down on big spending, its head said on Friday.
"We've already had cases concerning clubs that had overdue payments or debts, who did not pay a debt on time," Matthieu Reeb, secretary general of the CAS, told reporters, citing Spanish side Malaga, plus Turkey's Bursaspor and Besiktas.
"So these are coming slowly, but they are coming. And the most difficult cases will be when we have to look at disputes over the 'break-even' rule, where the budget must be respected," said Reeb, who oversees operations at the sporting world's supreme court.
He explained that the CAS's expert arbitrators would have their work cut out handling what have the potential to be highly complex disputes over club finances.
"These cases are more economic than legal, and we will need certain experts from the financial world, the economic world. It's a new challenge for us. We can expect trucks full of folders and papers!"
Financial Fair Play, introduced by UEFA with the agreement of clubs, is designed to rein in excessive spending on players and to reduce losses, with the threat of sanctions for non-compliance including exclusion from European competition.
Malaga were the first to fall foul of the system, when they were banned from competing in either the Champions League or Europa League for one season from this year due to outstanding debt payments.
The Andalusians -- quarter-finalists in last season's Champions League -- appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in June but lost.
UEFA, European football's governing body, says that the rules have already driven down clubs' payment arrears by 40 percent between 2011 and 2012."