Friday, 28 August 2009

Uefa plans to curb clubs' debts










Uefa president Michel Platini has vowed to bring in regulations that ensure football clubs manage their finances so they "live within their means".
The key to Platini's vision of what he has called "financial fair play" is for all clubs to be made to only spend what they earn in football revenues.
And he claims he has the backing of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and other rich club owners.
The rules are still being formulated and would not be in place before 2012.
Platini said: "We have everyone on board with this, the owners, the players, the leagues, the national associations.
"If a club can get loans from a bank to buy players and is able to pay back bank loans then it is not a problem. But if a club gets a lot of money or subsidies from a big backer and is still in deficit in two years then it is a problem and we don't want that."

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It would mean owners such as Manchester City's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan would not be able to make huge gifts of cash to their clubs.
Platini added that an independent panel would be set up to judge whether clubs had broken the rules.
"The panel will refer any matter to the disciplinary committee and sanctions will be taken from a reminder to a fine to expulsion from the Champions League," he said.
Many of Europe's top clubs have huge debts, with Real Madrid's an estimated debt of £500m up to the end of the 2007-08 season. Financial experts have estimated Real's current debt could run to about £800m following their summer spending spree.
Premier League club Chelsea reported losses of £65.7m up to June last year while Red Football, Manchester United's parent company owned by the Glazer family, recorded a £21m loss last year and has a total debt of £575m.

Manchester City paid about £22m to sign Everton defender Joleon Lescott
Platini added: "It's mainly the owners that asked us to do something - Roman Abramovich, (AC Milan's) Silvio Berlusconi, (Inter Milan's) Massimo Moratti. They do not want to fork out from their pockets any more.
"I have told Mr Abramovich about this and he said nothing against it."
Uefa would also look at losses incurred by clubs' parent companies who have to service loans, said Platini.
Sanctions - if implemented - would depend on the size of a club's losses, said Uefa deputy general secretary Gianni Infantino, who is in charge of the detailed planning process.
He said around 20 clubs had been sanctioned in the past few seasons and not given a Uefa licence because their finances were not in order.
But Infantino insists the new rules would not stop clubs like Manchester City breaking up the domination of the 'big four' in the Premier League - as long as they were run on the right lines.
"We think that the opposite will happen because if you have a rich sugar daddy coming in and throwing money around this is unhealthy in the medium and long-term," he said.
"For the club to be healthy it has to live on its own means and generate income and this is not impossible.
"Clubs have generated revenues by investing in stadiums otherwise it is an artificial bubble which inflates the system and is unhealthy and unsustainable."

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