UEFA ‘on track’ to sanction overspending clubs
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Talks are ongoing with nine clubs to agree sanctions for breaking Financial Fair Play rules, according to UEFA’s top official.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino insisted on Tuesday the legal process was “still quite well on track” to reach settlements, 11 days after confirming that investigations were open.
Though UEFA has not confirmed which clubs are involved, Premier League winner Manchester City and French champion Paris Saint-Germain are widely reported as the headline cases.
“It is a process,” Infantino told reporters. “It is normal in legal proceedings that time is taken to analyze.”
Man City and PSG reportedly face fines of tens of millions of euros (dollars) imposed by a UEFA investigation panel for overspending on player transfer and wages since 2011.
They would be the first round of sanctions ordered in the FFP program launched in 2009 by UEFA President Michel Platini to curb high spending which he likened to cheating to chase success and said risked clubs’ futures.
The UEFA panel reportedly wants to limit squad sizes and salary bills for Man City and PSG in next season’s Champions League, requiring both to rely more on home-trained players instead of expensive signings.
English media reports suggest Man City’s case is the toughest to resolve with the club’s owners in Abu Dhabi reluctant to have its reputation tarnished.
If UEFA and Man City fail to settle on sanctions, a separate judging panel will take the case and can enforce harsher penalties. Expulsion from the Champions League is possible, though unlikely.
Rival clubs also can challenge the announced settlements if they feel their access to the Champions League or Europa League was affected by a sanctioned club’s overspending.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport could be asked to resolve appeals before the Aug. 28 draw for the Champions League groups.
“We are aiming at having a clear picture on what will happen before the start of the next competitions,” Infantino quipped, when asked what deadline UEFA worked toward. ”(Decisions) cannot be communicated before they are taken.”