Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers keeping his cool as Pool still back Uefa’s financial fair play rules

By Eleanor Crooks

Liverpool are comfortable with Uefa's investigations into a possible breach of the financial fair play regulations because they support the system, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.

They are one of seven clubs under investigation by Uefa for potential breaches of financial fair play (FFP) regulations, European football's governing body announced s revealed.

The Merseyside club were absent from European competition last year and only recently submitted detailed accounts to the governing body, which dictates that losses must be restricted to £35.4m over a two-year window.

Liverpool reported losses of £49.8m for the 2012-13 season, and £40.5m for the 10-month period before that, and join Monaco, Roma, Besiktas, Inter Milan, Krasnodar and Sporting Lisbon in being subjected to investigations relating to "potential break-even breaches".

A Uefa statement read: "The CFCB (club financial control body) has opened formal investigations into seven clubs as they disclosed a break-even deficit on the basis of their financial reporting periods ending in 2012 and 2013.

"These clubs will need to submit additional monitoring information during October and November upon the deadlines set by the CFCB, subsequent to which an additional communication shall be made and conservatory measures may be imposed."

Liverpool face no immediate sanction as they prepare to provide further details to Uefa throughout the next two months, though the provisional withholding of Champions League funds lingers as a potential next step.

The Reds are thought to be confident they will avoid such penalties by virtue of lucrative new commercial deals and writing off some previous losses.

FFP allows certain spending streams, including youth development and stadium expenditure, to exist outside of its strict guidelines and Liverpool will argue that a £35m chunk of their 2011-12 deficit was attached to former co-owner Tom Hicks' aborted plans for a new stadium on Stanley Park.

Rodgers said: "It's obviously something that will be dealt with by the directors. It's something we're comfortable with because we're great advocates of financial fair play. It's ongoing with the club."

Manchester City and Paris St Germain were the clubs hit hardest by Uefa last season for breaching FFP rules, and City boss Manuel Pellegrini has been critical of the regulations.

Rodgers, meanwhile, is neither surprised nor alarmed at reports linking Real Madrid with a bid for Raheem Sterling.

The 19-year-old forward, whose contract at Anfield runs until 2017, is one of the brightest young talents in the Premier League and has had an impressive start to the season.

"It shows that he's playing exceptionally well," said Rodgers.

"I think you could probably link Raheem with every club in the world at the moment. He's a fantastic young talent.

"I've nothing really to add to it. There's obviously lots of speculation every day about players coming and going here at Liverpool.

"He's a wonderful boy who's developing very, very well here. I think him and his representatives and the people close to him know how comfortable he is here and I'm sure at some point in the future, whatever contract we're looking to work with will be sorted, but he's still got three years left and there's no rush from my perspective."

Sterling is likely to be a key figure for Liverpool in tomorrow's Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield.

Rodgers has not ruled out having striker Daniel Sturridge available, with the England man having been sidelined by a thigh strain suffered on international duty earlier this month.

"We've got a number of injuries that we're going to give every chance to," said the Reds boss. "He's a player who's out on the field working. Him and a number of others we'll just assess nearer the time. But if he doesn't make it he won't be far off after that.

"He's someone that responds well to treatment. Obviously it's gone well but there are still a couple of days to go before the game. The most important thing is he's near to fitness.

"He certainly won't be match-fit, he hasn't played for a few weeks, but it'll be great to have him back because he's a wonderful player for us.

"He's a great reference for our team at the top of the field, his pace and movement and quality, which we saw the last time he played against Tottenham."

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