Platini warns of 'impending implosion'

Uefa president Michel Platini said yesterday that unless football takes urgent action to introduce his plans to cap wages and transfer spending, backed by legal force if necessary, the game could “financially implode”.

In a speech to the European Parliament he said: “In football, as in the economy in general, the market is incapable of correcting its own excesses, and it was not the Uefa president who said so, it was Barack Obama.”

The European Club Association, which represents 137 leading teams including Manchester United and Real Madrid, does not support salary caps, nor does the Premier League, but Platini insists that without regulatory action, football is “in danger”.

He added: “European clubs are telling [Uefa] that our system is in danger of financially imploding in the medium term. We are looking at the idea of limiting a club’s expenditure on staff – salary and transfer fees combined – to an as yet undecided percentage of its direct and indirect sporting revenue.” That would be between 50 and 60 per cent.

Platini also called for changes to way games are refereed, advocating a systems of five active match officials per game instead of the current three, saying this would be preferable to video replays in reduce officiating mistakes.

He said two extra referees would catch “99 percent of the unacceptable mistakes” and would not delay play like video replays do. The idea will be considered next month when the rule-making International Football Association Board meets in Northern Ireland.