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Apr 28, 2010

Platini slams Premier League for Pompey plight

UEFA president Michel Platini has blamed the Premier League's "liberal" financial regulations for cash-strapped Portsmouth's dramatic demise.

Portsmouth were deducted nine points after going into administration with debts of around £119 million and have been relegated from the English top flight.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said the south coast club had got into the position they were in through "rank bad management", but Platini disagrees.

The UEFA boss argues that greater checks and balances should have been in place to prevent Portsmouth, who are now on the brink of liquidation, trying to live above their means.

Platini told The Times: "I'm not in favour of the big liberalism of what has happened with the English clubs.

"I'm not an expert of finance, but it was easy to understand that clubs like Portsmouth would be in big danger of going bankrupt and going down. We have to protect them. Why was this club winning (the FA Cup in 2008) with losses of £50 million?

"When I was younger, I remember seeing people with no money buy Ferraris - and then, because of the Ferrari, they would get the best girls! That's not correct, but it's what has happened in football: you don't have the money to buy the players, but you get the players and in the end you cheat and win the competition. That's not correct."

The Premier League responded to Platini's comments by saying in a statement: "Had we been able to introduce our financial criteria a year earlier, that would have certainly helped ease the problems faced by Portsmouth.

"The new rules, which we believe will help clubs operate in a more sustainable manner, combined with further regulations to be introduced this summer, should prevent another club in the Premier League reaching the point where their very existence is threatened.

"Having said that, regulation is not a cure-all. There are numerous examples of clubs in leagues deemed to be more heavily regulated than the Premier League that have got into difficulties."

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