09 aug 10:27
Financial Fair Play is working, insists Uefa
Financial Fair Play (FFP) is working well despite the enormous sums being spent in the summer transfer window, according to Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino.
The likes of Monaco have spent lavish sums over the past two seasons, with the Ligue 1 newboys investing upwards of €130 million this summer alone on new signings - although their absence from European competition allows them certain leeway.
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claimed Real Madrid's proposed €115m bid for Gareth Bale "made a joke" of Uefa's regulations, but Infantino has made it clear that such a sum is easily possible for a club which generates sufficient income.
He told the Press Association: "People see these signings and ask how it can happen with Financial Fair Play but it's possible - if you generate €100m you can spend €100m.
"The other thing which must be taken into account is that a club may have an agreement to pay that over five years, so the cost is €20m for the season.
"The problem comes is if a club doesn't generate €100m but spends it - then there will be disciplinary consequences."
The likes of Malaga and Panathinaikos have been hit with sanctions having failed to adhere to FFP guidelines, and, while Infantino acknowledges that banning clubs from competitions is tough for some to take, he insists Uefa's efforts are paying dividends on the whole.
"No one likes to punish clubs but we will do it," he continued. "In the last five years we have excluded 41 clubs from European competition and eight this season have not been admitted.
"It is quite positive. It shows financial fair play is working and that it's happening right now. Overall losses in European club football are down for the first time, and by several hundreds of millions [of euros]."