Belfast Telegraph

New rules end 'anarchy' - Platini

UEFA president Michel Platini claims the governing body's new rules on spending have ended the "total anarchy" that surrounded player transfers.

This summer's transfer window is expected to show another drop in spending by Premier League clubs - and that despite Manchester City's £126million spree.

"For years and years we were in total anarchy but the clubs asked for the rules because they knew they could not continue," said Platini.

UEFA's new financial fair play rules, aimed at ensuring clubs in European competition only spend what they earn, are due to come into force from next season though they will be introduced gradually.

Last year Premier League clubs spent £450million but this summer the total sum could be down by 25%. Meanwhile, January saw only £30million spent - the lowest figure since the mid-season window was introduced in 2003.

Platini added: "We can see already that the clubs are spending less as they look to balance their books.

"This is because the first time the break-even rule will kick in is in the coming year, the 2011/2012 season.

"It's very soon and this means that the strategy to say 'I can now go and spend hundreds of millions' doesn't work because we will see it in two years at the latest.

"Transfers have not been as crazy as in the last few years, they are pulling up their socks and the clubs are making special efforts to comply with the rules."

Manchester City look to have the most to fear from the new rules given their current turnover and wage bill, but there will be some leeway for the first six years. Owners will be allowed to inject 15million euros (£12.3m) a year into clubs up until 2015, and then 10million euros (£8.2m) until 2018, but the cash cannot be a loan.

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