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Uefa Withholds Prize Money As Financial Fair Play Rules Kick In

Europa League winners Atletico Madrid were among 23 clubs to have prize money withheld as UEFA announced the first sanctions under its financial fair play rules.

UEFA said the clubs, who also include Malaga and Sporting Lisbon were found to have “important” overdue payments to other teams, their own employees or social and tax authorities.

The withholding of prize money will remain in force until all the “overdue payables” identified by investigators have been paid or until a further decision by UEFA.

There were no clubs from the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A or France’s Ligue 1 among the clubs named.

UEFA approved the introduction of the far-reaching financial fair play rules in 2009 in a bid to reduce debt and introduce better and more transparent financial dealings among clubs playing in its competitions.

Financial Fair Play is the brainchild of UEFA president Michel Platini, who says that FFP has been introduced to stop clubs from spending their way into oblivion and to force them to live within their means.

FFP is also intended to stop wealthy owners from trying to buy success with limitless spending on players, distorting the transfer market in the process.

Transfer fees and outgoing payments have been monitored since the start of the 2011/12 season with clubs tasked with breaking even in 2012 and 2013 and being assessed during the 2013/14 season. If clubs have not come into line by then, they could be thrown out of European competition.

The 23 clubs who had prize money withheld by UEFA are:
FK Borac Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) FK Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) FK Zeljeznicar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) PFC CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria) HNK Hajduk Split (Croatia) NK Osijek (Croatia) Atletico Madrid (Spain) Malaga (Spain) Maccabi Netanya (Israel) FK Shkendija 79 (Macedonia) Floriana FC (Malta) FK Budunost Podgorica (Montenegro) FK Rudar Pjevlja (Montenegro) Ruch Chorzow (Poland) Sporting Clube de Portugal (Portugal) Dinamo Bucharest (Romania) FC Rapid Bucharest (Romania) FC Vaslui (Romania) Rubin Kazan (Russia) FK Partizan (Serbia) FK Vojvodina (Serbia) Eskisehirspor (Turkey) Fenerbahce (Turkey).