European clubs take notice: Financial fair play is here.
UEFA, European football's governing body, ushered in a new era of football today by sanctioning eight clubs for violations of the relatively new financial fair-play rules according to its official website.
Chief amongst the eight was Malaga, the nouveau riche Spanish side who are currently getting prepared for the Champions League Round of 16.
Whereas fines were expected for the cash-strapped Spanish club, UEFA's Club Financial Control Body took the surprising measure of hitting Malaga with a ban from the next European competition for which they qualify (within the next four seasons). The club will be banned from a further European campaign should they fail to make their outstanding payments by March 31.
It is a move that makes a clear statement of intentions from UEFA, who have looked for a way to level the playing field with clubs that spend extravagant sums.
For Chelsea, thoughts of a monstrous bid for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao in January, as reported by the Mirror, will surely be out the window.
While the move to ban Malaga at this stage is quite a drastic step, it shows that UEFA will take their FFP rules seriously and are ready to combat their clubs' over-spending—points that some previously doubted.
Welcome to the new European football, where business smarts will be quite a valuable asset.
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