UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino has declared football needs the body’s new financial fair play laws to save the game from disaster.Michel Platini’s right-hand man, Infantino insists clubs that do not comply with the laws – which will be implemented from next month – will be banned from participating in the Champions League and Europa League.
UEFA said they have secured backing among Europe’s 660 top-flight clubs from 53 countries to implement the rules, which are designed to move clubs towards breaking even from next season.
As an initial compromise, clubs are allowed to record maximum total losses over the next three years of 45 million euros. From 2014 to 2017, that overall permitted loss will fall to 30 million euros.
“Everyone knows the rules and we will go through with it,” Infantino told Goal.com. “The question is, ‘will you really do something?’ And the answer is, ‘yes, of course’. The train has left the station, we have started and there is no way back.”
“The whole European football movement felt the time is right now to do something, to establish some rules in order to have a better system.”
“In 2009 top division clubs in Europe made a loss of 1.2 billion euros. This is obviously something that if we don’t do something against it will lead us to disaster for European football.”
“It should operate in a more rational way. Just like everyone of us is doing at home. If you have in your wallet 100 euros, you can spend 100 euros.”
Based on their most recent published accounts, Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are among the European elite who would fall foul of the regulations.
But Infantino insists big clubs will get no favours from UEFA when it comes to the enforcing of the rules.
“You have to comply with the rules and if you do not comply with the rules there will be the ultimate sanctions,” he said.
“We have already excluded clubs. This year we have punished five clubs who have qualified sportingly for our competitions but who were not admitted because they did not fulfill the club licensing criteria.”
“For example, Mallorca in Spain. In the last five years, 27 clubs have not been admitted in our competitions either by the national associations or UEFA.”
“People think if it is a club from a big country they will be okay. Well, no. If you don’t respect the rules then there are different sanctions possible, including exclusion.”
“It is in the interests of all the clubs that the appropriate measures and sanctions are taken if they have to be.”