Henry: Financial Fair Play won't work

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Liverpool chairman John W Henry has claimed that the Premier League may step in with its own sanctions for financial mismanagement if UEFA’s Financial Fair Play directive fails.

UEFA’s financial fair play means that European clubs will only be allowed to spend as much as they earn from the 2013/14 season – although aspects such as stadium redevelopment costs won't be taken into account.

However there appears to be few signs of some of Europe’s biggest clubs gearing up for the changes, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea still spending extravagantly in the transfer market.

Clubs like Manchester City have also come in for criticism, not only for their big-spending but also for the £400m sponsorship deal with Etihad Airlines, a company whose chairman is the half-brother of City owner Sheikh Mansour, as a means of circumnavigating the rules. The Premier League champions posted a £197 million loss in 2010/11.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Henry expressed his concerns at the extravagant spending of clubs backed by wealthy individuals – and said the Premier League may be ready to step in if UEFA fail to enforce their own directive.

“The mandate of financial fair play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means,” he said. “Recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions within Europe are losing money and 20% are in straits of varying degrees.

“It's up to LFC to invest properly in players going forward so that the club can not only be sustainable but a powerhouse. This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues."

He added: "There are a lot of clubs within the league that support financial fair play.

"We believe the league itself may have to adopt its own rules given that clubs seem to be ignoring Uefa's rules, which may be porous enough to enable clubs to say that the trend of huge losses is positive and therefore be exempt from any meaningful sanctions."

Henry also admitted Liverpool need to look to generate money from elsewhere after three years outside the Champions League, and said re-naming Anfield is a possibility.

"A naming rights deal at Anfield could occur, I suppose, if the partner were right. We haven't pursued it," he said.

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