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Jan 18, 2011

Scudamore plays down UEFA rules

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore says he is confident none of England's elite clubs will fall foul of UEFA's new financial regulations and be barred from continental competition.

UEFA's Financial Fair Play Initiative, designed to rein in debt and spending across Europe, will be gradually phased in but the governing body will have the power to bar clubs from the Champions League and Europa League if certain conditions are not met from 2014 onwards.

While UEFA has been insistent that no exceptions will be made, Scudamore does not foresee any difficulties despite suggestions that big-spending Manchester City may struggle to comply with rules that ensure clubs do not spend more than they earn.

Scudamore told BBC Sport: "I don't see any circumstances where any of our clubs could get near to exclusion. UEFA is too sensible, and it's not in its interests to do so. It's more about taking the steam out of the system and acting as a speed bump rather than about barring clubs.

"In general we're supportive. It's very hard not to be. Break-even as a concept has got to be good in business. Manchester City are starting to plan and are disposing of some of their assets this transfer window. They're a very well-run club, they know what they have to do and I'm sure they'll do it.

"It is a 'soft' salary cap in effect. By far the largest expense is in this area, so by definition it will have an impact on wages and squad sizes and that's great. No one in football is proud of the kind of wage inflation we've experienced, but equally we mustn't do anything that dampens the international appeal of our league."

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