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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea chief questions FFP rules

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has hit out at the Premier League's Financial Fair Play regulations.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is a longtime ally of Roman Abramovich.
Last year Chelsea turned their first profit since Roman Abramovich took ownership of the club.

England's top-flight competition is set to bring in rules aimed at preventing wage increases a excessive losses for clubs. These regulations follow a similar move from UEFA, which are geared toward stopping clubs spending more than they earn.

Buck insists Chelsea are on target to meet UEFA's regulations, but believes the issues over how the Premier League's new financial restrictions are to be implemented leave a lot of unanswered questions, such as how massive sponsorship deals or naming rights are taken into account.

"Football had a problem and football has a problem which is that there are some clubs who spend money they do not have," Buck said at the Leaders in Football event.

"We felt that football should do something from a rule-making perspective, but our approach was really financial stabilisation, in other words rules which would require clubs to pay their taxes and would not permit them to spend money they did not have.

"The problem we have identified with Financial Fair Play is that it goes a long way to preserving the status quo, and one of the great things about football in this country is that if you are in last place in League Two, you can still hope that some day you will win the Premier League. That is now difficult if not impossible due to Financial Fair Play.

"Financial Fair Play will now have to wrestle with issues like: are certain sponsorship agreements really bone fide? Insularly revenues, is it appropriate to put those into the equation?

"We would have preferred something which really dealt with the issue of stabilisation regulations. We feel that what we have is we had a broken finger, so we cut off the arm.

"Having said that, Financial Fair Play at the UEFA level is in effect, we all want to play in UEFA competitions, so we will all do what we have to comply.

"It took us three or four years for us to realise we had to change our [business] model and be more frugal, more conservative and have a structure for the future. that is what we are doing now. Hopefully for the long-term, we will be successful in breaking even or better.

"We will comply with UEFA's form of Financial Fair Play, but we have a lot of work [to do] into that."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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