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Top clubs given extra time on financial fair play rules

93 clubs from 53 countries attended the ECA's General Assembly in Manchester
93 clubs from 53 countries attended the ECA's General Assembly in Manchester

Europe's top clubs have succeeded in delaying the full introduction of Uefa's new financial fair play rules.

The rules will apply in 2015 instead of 2012 and will govern the amount of debt clubs can accrue, with European bans a possible punishment if they are broken.

The European Club Association agreed clubs must break even over a three-year period, without relying on large cash injections from rich owners.

ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "This is a huge achievement."

Rummenigge told reporters at the Soccerex business convention that 93 clubs from 53 countries had attended the ECA's General Assembly in Manchester and were unanimously agreed on the proposals.

"After only two years of existence, the European Club Association has managed, together with Uefa, to set measures that will shape the future of European club football into a more responsible business and ultimately a more sustainable one," continued Rummenigge.

Uefa will assess clubs' finances over a rolling three-year period to ensure they comply with their new financial fair play rules before they are allowed to take part in the Champions League or Europa League.


It means rich owners will have to have an equitable stake in a club rather than loaning it vast sums of money.

Clubs also agreed that they will not be able to owe each other money, nor will they be allowed to compete in Europe if salaries have not been paid to players or non-playing staff.

There will be a phased implementation over five years with a transition period going from 2012 to 2015, which will allow clubs to adapt.

The clubs rejected a proposal by Uefa that the new rule should only apply to clubs with a turnover of more than 50m Euros - saying that all clubs should be treated the same.

Also on the agenda was a proposal to limit squads to 25 players with unlimited under-21 players per team at national and European level, as well as plans to reduce fees paid to agents.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill, who is on the ECA board, said that the Old Trafford club would meet the new rules, despite their reported debts of £716.5m.

"We have seen what the proposals are and we would meet the financial break even rules," said Gill.

"We as Manchester United have always been run professionally and will continue to be run professionally."

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