Football

Platini sends warning to big guns

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Europe's biggest clubs must comply with UEFA's "indirect salary cap" or face the music, Michel Platini has warned.

Under UEFA's new rules, clubs will face possible bans from European competition from the 2014/15 season if they spend more than they earn in the three years before. Currently, 11 European sides would fall foul of the regulations, and UEFA president Platini stated that action would be taken regardless of a club's stature.

Speaking at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, he said: "If a club doesn't fall in line and follow the same rules as everyone else then it will be time to face the music. Certainly it is not something we want to see."

He added: "Our objective is not to put clubs into financial difficulty. Financial fair play is to help them escape from this devilish spiral and have a viable economic strategy in the long term. I will leave no stone unturned to do this. This is not a witch-hunt, this is so they no longer continue blindly and mindlessly."

UEFA allocated a whole day to explain the system to the global media, and general secretary Gianni Infantino held up Arsenal as an example of a well-run club who have boosted their income without ever overspending.

He said: "Ten years ago Arsenal reported less income than Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle. Now it is more than those clubs and in 2009 more than double Newcastle's.

"This shows what is possible with good management and careful investment. What kind of healthy business model is it to wait for a knight rider on a horse with a lot of money to throw around and then one day jump back on his horse and ride away?"

Manchester City, who recently posted £121million losses, have already sent officials to meet UEFA about complying with the financial rules.

Andrea Traverso, UEFA's head of licensing, said: "We are in talks with the club - they are aware of the rules and they probably have a strategy to raise their income. They have been to see us and they are confident that they can manage this challenge."

Platini added: "Last year in Abu Dhabi I met up with the owner of Manchester City and he promised they would live with the rules and regulations."

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Manchester City
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