Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Europe on verge of soccer meltdown?
by Paul Kennedy, February 19th, 2009 7:01AM



UEFA president Michel Platini issued a dire warning that European soccer was on the verge of a financial meltdown if measures to curb spending on salaries and transfers aren't implemented. Speaking to the European Parliament, the former French star said the sport could "financially implode" if members of the European Club Association, which represents 137 leading teams, don't come around. He pointed out that American sports leagues were better positioned to handle the worldwide financial crisis and European clubs needed to learn from their example.

Platini's comments came after efforts to impose a salary cap was rejected by the European Club Association.

"European clubs are currently telling us that our system is in danger of financially imploding in the medium term," Platini said. "We are currently looking at the idea of limiting, to a certain degree, a club's expenditure on staff -- salary and transfer fees combined -- to an as yet undecided percentage of its direct and indirect sporting revenue."

Platini has proposed that clubs "would not be allowed to spend any more than 50 to 60 per cent of revenues" on wages and buying players -- revenues meaning money received only from ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandise and television income, not from the financial investment by owners or major shareholders.

"For the past 15 or 20 years, we have grown tired of hearing that there is no need to regulate, that the market regulates itself perfectly, that excesses and imbalances will disappear of their own accord," Platini said. "We now know that none of this is true. 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."

Platini spoke of the American model where "sports competitions are only attractive if they are well balanced and if no one team possesses the ultimate weapon. The American sports system can certainly give us food for thought. It is completely different from the European model of sport in a number of fundamental ways. There are nevertheless some lessons that we can learn.

Platini's rules would only immediately affect clubs participating in UEFA competitions such as the lucrative Champions League and the UEFA Cup, but they would by definition cover Europe's biggest clubs.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
Coach Michelle French names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
MLS preseason returns to Tucson in 2016    
Ten MLS teams will take part in preseason training in Tucson, Arizona, where the 2016 Desert ...
Ellis calls up Colaprico and Lavelle for first time    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Eilis called in 28 players -- 20 who went to ...
What They're Saying: Chris Dangerfield    
'We used to go to movies, have cups of tea, strange things you do when you ...
What They're Saying: Tim Leiweke    
"I think we have found a site. It's probably different than what people think we're doing, ...
Video Pick: How Ronaldo gets treated by customs     
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting through customs, as demonstrated by this ...
NASL's Jacksonville banks on Tony Meola    
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola, whose previous coaching experience since retiring as a player in ...
Video Pick: Messi proves he's fully recovered    
Lionel Messi, out of Barcelona's starting lineup for two months because of a knee injury, scored ...
Red Bulls' success nets Marsch Coach of the Year honors    
Inexperienced head coaches don't often flourish in MLS, yet in just his second season as a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives