Continued from page 1

Three out of every four clubs earning more than euro50 million ($65 million) annually also recorded a loss.

“Clubs tend to spend more in order to obtain a competitive advantage,” said Andrea Traverso, the head of UEFA’s financial fair play project.

UEFA outlined a range of sanctions to punish clubs who overspend in an initial two-year monitoring period from 2011-13, or fail to pay wages, transfer fees or taxes. To punish those who transgress, UEFA could withhold Champions League and Europa League prize money, deduct group-stage points or prevent new players being registered in its club competitions.

Financial fair play rules allow clubs to make a total loss of euro5 million ($6.5 million) in the first assessment period, or up to euro45 million ($58 million) if a wealthy owner makes a one-time donation to wipe out losses.

UEFA will phase in tighter monitoring rules in future years.

A total of 31 soccer clubs, including four this season, have been refused entry to its two main club competitions since financial licensing was introduced in 2004. However, clubs barred this season were from the small-market leagues of Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Romania.

Skepticism has grown over UEFA’s willingness to take on big-spending clubs such as Premier League leader Manchester City, whose owners from Abu Dhabi funded a 194.9-million-pound (then $318 million) loss for 2010-11 before the monitoring took effect.

“I expect that, at the last moment, (big clubs) will respect the rules,” Inter Milan chief executive Ernesto Paolillo said on the sidelines of the UEFA briefing. “I can’t imagine they would not.”

The big spenders include French league leader Paris Saint-Germain, which spent euro82 million ($107 million) on players last offseason after being bought by Qatari owners.

UEFA’s project was backed by Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon whose standing in France is threatened by PSG’s revival.

Aulas described a “dichotomy” between clubs spending “easy money and money for investment.”

“Tomorrow’s paradigm (for clubs) must be built on building stadiums and building youth academies _ tangible assets that can benefit (soccer) in general,” Aulas said.