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Uefa puts its foot down

Uefa is about to start enforcing some tough new restrictions on football clubs who spend beyond their means, banning them from playing in the Champions league and Europa League unless they spend what they themselves generate. The Financial Fair Play will also ban big cash injections like were seen at Chelsea and Manchester City, but will not come into effect the 2014/15 season at the earliest, giving clubs three years to become financially solvent.

The new rules will forbid teams from owing money to rival teams, players, staff or tax authorities by the end of each season, but money spent on stadiums and youth team development will not be included in the sums. It is not known what effect this will have on a club like Real Madrid, who have immense power and ways of accessing hugen amounts of money that may not be countable by Uefa.

‘The main rule is the break-even requirement which will be phased in over the next three years,’ said Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino. ‘It is not as easy to swallow for everyone but everyone understands it is necessary. They are there not to punish clubs, they are there to help clubs. We don't want to kill anyone, this is why we have a phased-in approach.

‘If clubs want to spend €50, 60 or 70 million, why not, provided they have the money coming from their revenues, this will continue in the future. The problem is when you don't have the money.’

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