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SBD Global/September 3, 2013/International Football

UEFA President Michel Platini Warns European Clubs To Heed FFP Or Meet In Court

UEFA President Michel Platini has issued a powerful message to those European clubs who do not balance their books that "he will see them first around the negotiating table and then, if no agreement is reached, he will see them in court," according to Henry Winter of the London TELEGRAPH. Platini on Friday "released details of an improved picture of European clubs' financial health," showing losses down €600M ($792M), but he still believes his organization will "eventually" become embroiled in legal dispute with the "more profligate clubs." UEFA has already started inspecting clubs' finances, and is in informal contact with all the leading Premier League clubs, "but the full punitive potential of Financial Fair Play will not be felt until next May." Those clubs who do not meet UEFA's books-balancing edict face suspension from European competition, "a substantial blow to income and ego." Platini's first skirmishes with the clubs "might be in the French courts." Much "will depend on how Platini's FFP committee and, eventually, judges view the exact reality of losses, debts and liabilities when set against assets and income" (TELEGRAPH, 8/31).

: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw wrote "overall losses among the 237 clubs participating in UEFA competitions fell" from €1.7B in '11 to €1.1B last year -- a 36% reduction. By the same token, the amount of money clubs owe to other clubs -- known as overdue payables -- "has also fallen considerably while for the first time since FFP was conceived, revenues have increased at a faster pace than wages." UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said, "Clubs are clearly getting the message because something is happening. Wage growth has been eclipsed by revenues for the first time. This is concrete proof financial fair play is working" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/30).
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