English clubs face Uefa ban if they fail to balance books

Premier League clubs will have five more years to put their financial house in order before facing the possibility of expulsion from European competitions. The European Clubs' Association, which represents 144 clubs, has agreed new licensing rules with Uefa, under which clubs cannot spend more money than they receive; but figures will be worked out over a three-year period, not a single season, and no sanctions will be brought in until 2015.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge of Bayern Munich, the ECA chairman, who had met the Premier League's Richard Scudamore on Monday, said yesterday: "It's a very good day for European club football. I believe all clubs in future will be more responsible. It will become more rational." Rummenigge was speaking at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, where the message was that the old days and the old ways of financial mismanagement had finally to be addressed. Having a Premier League club go into administration has sent shock waves across the continent and the mood was summed up by Internazionale's chief executive Ernesto Paolillo, who said: "The old times are finished. Sometimes you need a shock and this is it."

In the same debate, Sevilla's vice-prsident Jose Maria Cruz said half a dozen Spanish clubs faced bankrupcy and that some in the Spanish second division spent one-and-a-half times their turnover on wages alone.

Manchester United's David Gill, a member of the ECA board, welcomed the new proposals, as did representatives of Arsenal and Chelsea, the two other English clubs in the top six of the Deloitte Football Money League announced yesterday. Gill claimed that United, "which has always been professionally run and will continue to be", already met the criteria because they related to breaking even, not accumulated debt.

Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's chief executive, said: "The fundamental issue that we all face is do we have the courage and fortitude to control our spending in a fairly irrational environment. If we can manage that there's no reason why anyone can't have a long-term stable business in football. It's been very positive that Uefa are taking the lead on this. But I don't think football's in crisis because a crisis would be if you can't see the way forward. I think we're in an industry that has incredinble potential for growth.”

Chelsea's chief financial officer Chris Alexander added: "The ECA is working hard with Uefa to improve the financial framework. I'm sure there will be financial fair play that everyone can sign up to." Others have suggested it was anything but fair for Chelsea and Manchester City's owners to have wiped out huge debts by converting what they were owed into equity. Both clubs now claim to be debt-free and Alexander said: "There was initial investment [by Roman Abramovich] to be competitive with Arsenal and Manchester United but Roman doesn't want Chelsea Football Club to run perpetually at a loss.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate