Selasa, 11 September 2012

Paris Saint-Germain and Zenit watch on as Uefa gets tough over new Financial Fair Play ruling

UEFA President Michel Platini attends the UEFA 2012 Kick-Off RESPECT Campaign official launch press conferenc

Julian Bennetts

Every uprising starts with a show of defiance, and this morning UEFA gave notice to Europes top clubs that there is more to their demands for financial sustainability than words alone.

The announcement that 23 clubs have had their prize-money from last seasons European competitions withheld due to their financial issues will have drawn a mixed response from all four corners of the continent.

The likes of Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Fenerbahce and Sporting Lisbon have until September 30 to either settle their debts or explain to European footballs governing body exactly why they have not paid players, other clubs or the taxman.

If not, the punishment is simple; clubs that fall foul of the rules will be banned from the Champions League and Europa League.

And when Platinis ideas come to fruition, this will be seen as an important moment in this well-advertised sea-change.

Similarly, Zenit St Petersburg whose average attendance was 3,000 less than Reading last season have just spent between 64 and 80m (depending on who you believe) on Hulk and Axel Witsel.

These are not the actions of clubs who feel financial Armageddon is coming.

Yet Platini has never deviated, never changed from his insistence that the day of reckoning was near.

"These rules were unanimously approved by all clubs, politicians, judges and the European Union. There's no going back from here on, he told Gazzetta dello Sport at the end of August.

FFP is a hard rule for any team, regardless of whether we're talking about PSG, Juventus, or any other team.

"I have spoken with directors from all clubs. They have all stressed that they would follow the new rules. It seems that some worry a bit more about FFP than others, though.

"Financial Fair Play does not stop clubs from buying players. Clubs can still spend as much as th ey want as long as their budget accounts for it."

The question now is how PSG, Zenit and the rest can justify it. Over-inflated sponsorship deals have been discussed, as have an increase of equity for their owners in exchange for greater finance.

But the example of Malaga is one that Platini is sure to refer to time and again.

The list announced today gives the clubs named until September 30 to settle their debts or explain why they had not paid either players, other clubs or the tax authorities money that was owed.

In the case of Malaga, the answer is simple; because the billionaire owner, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani of the Qatari royal family, seemingly lost interest and the funds dried up.

Santi Cazorla was then sold at a knock-down price to Wenger and Arsenal, solely so that the players could be paid. Withholding prize money will only exacerbate the situation, but Platini had to make a stand.

Clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain and Malaga are all indebted to owners that they could not cope without.

The Frenchman, a football politician who is surely destined for Sepp Blatters chair at FIFA, will not countenance that.

And, under the leadership of former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, CFCB have been told to crack down.

No-one has been banned from European competitions not yet, at least.

But Atletico Madrid could lose out on up to 7.9m in prize money, an eye-watering figure for any accountant.

And the message that is coming from UEFAs HQ this morning is loud and clear; Platini is watching, and the day of judgement is coming.

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar