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Michel Platini (UEFA) Plans to Reform Football Finance Regulations

6/2/2009
UEFA president Michel Platini told reporters yesterday that the organisation would press ahead with plans to reform the financial regulation of club football, despite the objections of the Premier League.

During his 48-hour visit to London this week, Platini indicated that he would pursue his vision of equity and fair play in European football by attempting to implement financial regulations that are currently unpopular with many of the English clubs.

It had been voiced that the former European Player of the Year’s continued efforts to change the current financial agenda in football are borne of a desire to curb the dominance of the elite English clubs in the Champions League, but the Frenchman was quick to quash such sentiments.

“I do not do these things because I lie awake at night thinking of ways to stop the English,” he said. “I do it because the clubs across Europe ask me to do something as president of UEFA to help everyone have a fair chance of winning. I do not have a bad rapport with anyone, but I do have a philosophy of football and perhaps that philosophy is different.”

In particular, Platini is opposed to the prevalence of “soft loans” in English football and the unfair financial footing that it has placed clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City on in the transfer market. Among the options UEFA are considering to counter-act such loans are introducing a wage-cap for players based on a percentage of the club’s turnover and restricting squad sizes so that the big clubs are not able to hoard the game’s best talent.

The proposed reform will be considered in the March meeting of UEFA’s strategy council, but Platini assured managers that any changes affecting entry to UEFA competitions would not be imposed for two or three seasons, and even then, only with the full support of clubs.

Duncan Wilkie
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