(WFI) UEFA has insisted that its financial fair play regulations will be met, despite Premier League Clubs spending £225 million ($365m) on new signings during the January transfer window.
The British transfer record was broken twice on Monday following Fernando Torres’ £50 million move from Chelsea to Liverpool and Andy Carroll’s £35 million switch to Anfield from Newcastle. Earlier in the window Luis Suarez joined Liverpool for £22.8 million, Edin Dzeko signed for Manchester City for £27 million, and Darren Bent joined Aston Villa for £24 million.
In total, £195 million more was spent this January than in the same month last year, casting doubt on whether UEFA’s new financial fair play rules will be adhered to.
Under the strict new rules, UEFA will sanction clubs that consistently run at a loss in an effort to counteract what has been described as “financial doping”.
UEFA said yesterday that it has “full confidence” that clubs will stick to the rules.
“There is no doubt that transfers made now will impact on the break-even results of the financial years ending 2012 and 2013 – the first financial years to be assessed under the break-even rule,” UEFA said.
“The clubs know the rules and also know that UEFA is fully committed to implementing them with rigour.”
UEFA said that it was “difficult” to comment on individual clubs “without knowing the long-term strategy of each club.”
European football’s governing body insisted that the rules “do not prevent clubs from spending money on transfers themselves but rather require them to balance their books at the end of the season”.
UEFA has banned 27 clubs from European competition over the last five seasons for not meeting its licensing conditions.
These currently cover financial and legal compliance, but do not extend to the financial fair play rules. A club from one of the confederations “big five” leagues are yet to face sanctions, and it remains to be seen whether UEFA’s rules will stand up to legal challenge if the resources of a major club ever put its rules to the test.
Yesterday AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani cast doubt on whether the rules will be met when some clubs are spending so freely.
“Everyone’s talking about balancing the books, but then they spend like crazy people,” he said.
“[Chelsea] strengthened in an amazing way. I just don’t know where financial sense will end up.”
Chelsea CEO Ron Gourlay immediately hit back, saying that Chelsea was in a “strong position” to meet the challenges imposed by UEFA’s financial fair play requirements.
UEFA pledged to assist clubs in meeting their targets.
“UEFA will continue to work together with clubs in order to help them achieve this most important and commonly shared objective,” it said in a statement.
Euro 2012 tickets set to go on sale
UEFA has announced that the first ticketing phase for next year’s European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine will start on March 1 and run for the duration of the month.
opt to buy individual match tickets, to follow their team through the group or tournament, or to buy a set of venue-specific tickets.
“The estimated cost of the tickets will be at least 30 euros and could reach 600 euros for the final matches,” UEFA ticketing manager Rainer Berak said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
In total UEFA will sell 1.4million tickets, and hopes that 75 per cent of take up will come from locals.
Prince Ali Meets UEFA boss
UEFA president Michel Platini has held talks with new FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in Nyon.
“President Platini declared that he was extremely happy and honoured to have had the privilege of greeting HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein on his very first official visit since his election as a FIFA vice-president,” UEFA said in a statement.
Prince Ali, who unexpectedly defeated Chung Mong-joon at elections held at last month’s Asian Football Confederation congress in Doha, is currently on a tour of Europe and is expected in England later this week.
Ali has been president of the Jordan Football Association since 1999.
By INSIDER’s James Corbett
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