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Merkel urges tougher rules to end sky-high transfers


Berlin (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday urged football governing bodies UEFA and FIFA to tighten rules governing transfers and stamp out spiralling record spending on players.

“I view the financial developments in professional football as critically as many people,” she told Mittelbayerische Zeitung daily.

“Such sums are comprehensible to no one. UEFA and FIFA should readjust the rules on player transfers to ensure greater balance. Otherwise, the transfer fees threaten to rise further,” she said.

Flushed with cash from television broadcast rights, Europe’s top flight clubs have spent record sums on player transfers.

Paris Saint Germain smashed the world transfer record by paying Barcelona 222 million euros ($263.5 million) for Neymar, sparking controversy over the purchase.

European football’s governing body UEFA last week opened an investigation into PSG’s spending.

Under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, a club cannot make an annual loss of more than 30 million euros.

In PSG’s case, it would therefore have to find ways to balance the books following the massive acquisition. 

These could include selling some players from its squad as well as hope for a big jump in revenues including from sponsoring, merchandising, ticket sales and TV rights.

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