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Football Whispers

Bayern CEO wants playing licence, points penalties for FFP breachers

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called for stronger measures for those clubs in breach of financial fair play (FFP) regulations.

Amid UEFA's ongoing formal investigation into Paris Saint-Germain's big spending this summer, there have been calls from German football in recent weeks to hit those in breach of FFP with harsher punishments than a fine.

Speaking at a Bundesliga summit, Rummenigge suggested the Qatar Sports Investments-financed PSG as well as Manchester City, who are controlled by Abu Dhabi United Group, could be bending the rules.

"If I have owners like them, money is relative," Rummenigge said. "You will only hurt them if you revoke the playing licence or deduct points."

Rummenigge was echoing his Borussia Dortmund counterpart Hans-Joachim Watzke, who previously called on UEFA to deduct points from overspending clubs by arguing that the owners "laugh" at fines.

Rummenigge, who left his post as the chairman of the European Club Association last month, added that he fully trusted UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to apply the right measures.

He did, however, warn that should the governing body fail "to adjust its FFP regulations and take care of an equitable use," this could lead to a fall of the German "50+1" rule to ensure the Bundesliga clubs remain competitive in Europe.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a former European Club Association chairman.

"We'd then need to have a serious discussion on handing the power of decision over '50+1' to the clubs," Rummenigge added.

The "50+1" rule stipulates that more than 50 percent of a club must be owned by its members and has come under increasing scrutiny this year.

Three Bundesliga clubs -- Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim -- have moved away from the rule, while Hannover are set to join them, holding an exception permit from the German Football League allowing private investors with more than 20 years of uninterrupted and significant financial support for a club to take over.

RB Leipzig are effectively owned by Austrian energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, while Hamburg have been bankrolled by a local billionaire.

While Borussia Dortmund remain the only stocklisted Bundesliga club, several other sides including Bayern Munich have long gone down the investment route when selling stakes to companies.

The six Bundesliga clubs participating in the group stages of the Champions League and Europa League have won just one of their 12 matches played so far this season.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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