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Apr 14, 2013

Hoeness hopes FFP 'kills' a big club

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has told World Soccer that Malaga's European ban is "a good beginning" for Financial Fair Play (FFP) and added that he hopes one of the continent's biggest clubs is "killed" by the regulations in the near future.

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UEFA has banned Malaga from European competition for one season due to delays in payments to creditors, with the Spanish club's owner, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani, recently accusing the governing body of racism against his team.

However, Hoeness feels Malaga's expulsion is entirely justified and said he would be "angry" if the FFP initiative, introduced by UEFA president Michel Platini to prevent excessive spending in pursuit of success, did not see some of Europe's most prominent clubs face the same fate.

"If Financial Fair Play is taken seriously by Michel Platini then Bayern, and all German clubs, have very good chances because most conform already," he told the magazine. "Of course, change will be very difficult if Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain are allowed to go on making big losses, but if Mr Platini is tough then German clubs have a very good chance because the infrastructure and crowds are better than anywhere else.

"The Malaga punishment was a good beginning. This gentleman [Al-Thani] did not pay his bills. He lived beyond his means. But I hope this was only a start. If they kill the small clubs and let the big ones live then that is not okay.

"I hope that one day one of the biggest is killed. The sooner the better. I would be very angry if UEFA did not sanction clubs with big debts. I have asked Platini a hundred times and he says, 'Uli, don't worry. I will look after it', so I will take him at his word."

Hoeness said he was proud that Bayern were able to make significant signings without going into the red.

"We have never been in debt now for 32 years. Over the last 29 years, we have been in profit 19 times. In order to make a profit, you have to be able to say no sometimes, whether over salaries or transfer fees. We never have to go to the credit department of a bank.

"Even when we signed a cheque for €40 million for Javi Martinez last year, we could take it from our accounts - and being able to do that is something which lets you sleep very well at night."

The German Football League currently has a "50+1" rule that prevents investors owning more than 49% of a club. There has been some opposition to the scheme, which denies German sides the chance to follow in the footsteps of City or PSG, and Hoeness expects it will eventually be overturned, but he insists Bayern would never take that route.

"One day 50+1 will fall and we will not fight against it, but Bayern would never sell a majority because we have a special agreement with our members," he said. "We are not allowed to sell more than 30% to other companies or go public.

"If we wanted to, we would have to ask the members and we would have to get a three-quarters vote... and we will never get it. Never, never, never."

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