Premier League champions Manchester City are among a number of clubs in conversation with UEFA over financial sustainability, it has been revealed.
Roberto Mancini's side are attempting to persuade the governing body the club is capable of remaining financially solvent in the long run.
"The ambition of the club, from the outset of new ownership in September 2008, was to build a sustainable football club. The club remains fully committed to that principle," a club source was quoted as telling ESPN.
In addition to City, the report indicates that 19 other clubs are also being spoken to by UEFA, for whom the Club Financial Control Body have also withheld prize money payments to a total of 23 clubs pending financial investigations. That list of clubs includes Malaga CF from Spain, Sporting Lisbon from Portugal, Fenerbahce from Turkey and Rubin Kazan from Russia.
City (and Chelsea) have already been warned by UEFA over the size of their respective wage bills. The annual review of football finances by Deloitte show a 70 percent wages to revenue ratio - meaning clubs spend, on average, 70 percent of their revenue on player salaries.
In money terms, Premier League wages stand at a little over £1.6bn, compared to total revenues of approximately £2.27bn.
The report indicates Chelsea and City had the two highest wage expenditure figures last season - £191m and £174m respectively. Manchester United were third with £153m.
In terms of revenues, the European and English champions earned £225.6m and £153.2m respectively last year, according to Deloitte's February 2012 report,
"If the wages to revenue ratio is 70 percent or higher, it's very difficult to make an operating profit. In our view it is too high as a league and the clubs need to be edging back to the low 60s. Every 1 percent that it drops should increase operating profits by £20m to £25m," Alan Switzer, director of the sports business group at Deloitte, explained.
UEFA, along with a number of coaches and clubs, have long pressed for the need to ensure clubs do not go bankrupt by spending large amounts of money on transfer fees and wages. The increasing trend of billionaire owners, individual or consortium, taking over some clubs and spending record transfer fees has led to a succession of big-money moves and equally generous playing contracts.
UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations were approved in September 2009 and the organisation began monitoring transfers and wages in the summer of 2011, with the aim to assess each club's situation in the 2013/14 season. The essential objective was to ensure that football clubs could survive in the long-term.
Under the new regulations, clubs can only lose £36m (approximately) over the two seasons running up to full implementation and the permissible loss figures will eventually be scaled down.
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