Chelsea unfazed despite debt warnings

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Chelsea have insisted their financial well-being is assured under Roman Abramovich's ownership - but UEFA have warned that any clubs overburdened with debt could face exclusion from the Champions League.

The funds Abramovich has loaned Chelsea have allowed the London club to grow into European giants, and chairman Bruce Buck is confident the debt to the owner will be available for years to come.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live later, Buck said: "We're very comfortable with the debt we have from Roman Abramovich in terms of its viability, its importance and its long-term availability."

UEFA general secretary David Taylor has revealed European football's governing body will aim to find fresh ways to address the number of clubs who are succeeding on borrowed money.

UEFA are expected to focus on clubs who are struggling under the weight of debts which require servicing, and they are to undertake a radical review of their own club licensing system.

Taylor said: "This is an attempt to find greater financial stability, especially at a time when banks are failing.

"Governments might bail out banks but they are not going to bail out a football club."

He explained: "We will not flinch if we have to exclude clubs from Europe's elite competition."

Former Scottish FA chief executive Taylor added: "We cannot let things stay as they are. There would be forms of communication, even warnings, even reprimands before one would ever get to a situation of exclusion but it's absolutely possible.

"It won't happen overnight or even next season but it is the ultimate sanction."

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