UEFA says new financial rules will be enforced “with rigour,” after English teams spent £225 million buying players in the January transfer window.
A statement issued by European football’s governing body said: “The UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations have been widely supported by all clubs and stakeholders, during the long and considered consultation and approval process.
“UEFA is aware of the recent transfer activity across Europe. It must be noted, however, that the financial fair play rules do not prevent clubs from spending money on transfers themselves but rather require them to balance their books at the end of the season. It is therefore difficult to comment on any individual situation without knowing the long-term strategy of each club.
“There is no doubt that transfers made now will impact on the break-even results of the financial years ending 2012 and 2013 – the first financial years to be assessed under the break-even rule. The clubs know the rules and also know that UEFA is fully committed to implementing them with rigour. For example, as from this summer all payments due on transfers and to employees will be assessed by the Club Financial Control Panel (CFC Panel) as part of the “enhanced overdue payables” rule.
“UEFA has full confidence that the clubs are increasingly aware of the nature of the financial fair play rules, which aim to encourage clubs to balance their incomes and expenses over a period of time covering 4-6 transfer windows.
“In this regard, and during the implementation of the financial fair play rules, UEFA will continue to work together with clubs in order to help them achieve this most important and commonly shared objective.”
UEFA will scrutinize club financial reports and can bar those teams in the red from the Champions League starting in 2014-15. The soccer body also says clubs will be punished for failing to pay transfer fees or wages on time.