Platini Says Financial Fair Play ‘Here To Stay’

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Michel Platini has confirmed that changes have been proposed to UEFA’s break-even rules, known as Financial Fair Play (FFP), though he did not repeat the suggestion he previously made that they would be relaxed.

The UEFA president told a French radio station on Monday that European football’s governing body was contemplating “easing” the rules which prevent rich owners from pumping unlimited funds into their clubs.

However, in an interview with UEFA’s own website on Thursday, he talked of updating the rules, adapting to new circumstances and moving from “austerity to sustainable growth”.

Asked if UEFA had changed its approach, he said: “No. Clubs need to continue to live within their means.

“The objective of Financial Fair Play remains the same, we have just been working on moving from a period of austerity to one where we can offer more opportunities for sustainable growth.

“Financial Fair Play has led to a dramatic improvement in club finances and has restored business credibility in our sport,” he added.

“When we began this process, financial losses stood at 1.7 billion euros (US$1.90 billion) per year but now it is in the 400 to 500 million euros range.

“In a short period of time, Financial Fair Play is achieving what it set out to do: restore the financial health of European football and put clubs on a much better and more solid financial foundation.

“Financial Fair Play is here to stay,” he added. “The proposed changes to the regulations will build on the successes achieved whilst adapting to changed, and improved, economic circumstances.

“The overall objective remains the same: to provide a regulatory environment which supports clubs in creating sustainable growth for the long term, while maintaining financial stability.

“It is entirely normal for regulations to be updated. In fact, it would be abnormal if regulations never changed,” he added.

“Updates and adaptations are part of the regular life cycle of European football regulations. These regulations came into being in 2010 and were already updated in 2012.”

Critics of FFP say that it has stopped medium and smaller clubs of having any chance of competing with the elite ones, which has led to domestic leagues and the Champions League being dominated by the same handful of teams every season.

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Abideen Owolabi

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