Clubs meet Uefa to look at financial constraints

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The Independent Football

Europe's leading clubs and the game's European governing body Uefa have started preliminary discussions on curbing the amount of money that can be spent on player transfers or wages, sources close to the talks said.

The European Club Association (ECA), which represents the continent's leading clubs, has proposed that only around 51 per cent of a club's revenue should be spent on transfers or salaries. An upsurge in the cost of players – highlighted by Manchester City's reported €110m (£103m) failed bid for Milan's Kaka – combined with huge salaries prompted the move as the global financial crisis bites. "Talks are at a preliminary stage, but there is a view that clubs cannot sustain this situation in the long term," one ECA source said. "The issue is due to be discussed at the ECA's general assembly next month."

A senior Uefa official confirmed the governing body "was looking seriously at the proposal". World football body Fifa, Uefa and the European Union are also concerned over the influx of money from billionaire owners from outside Europe who have taken large stakes in clubs, particularly in England. In November, EU sports ministers mulled the possibility of a pan-European financial regulator for sport but decided instead to press Fifa and Uefa to introduce stricter financial rules for clubs and leagues.

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