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Football: Nine teams under financial fairplay probe

Nine clubs remain at risk of punishment for over-spending under UEFA's financial fairplay rules, the European governing body announced on Friday.

PARIS: Nine clubs remain at risk of punishment for over-spending under UEFA's financial fairplay rules, the European governing body announced on Friday.

Although the identity of the teams was not revealed, big-spending Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are widely believed to be amongst those facing possible sanctions.

UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Investigatory Chamber said that 76 out of the 237 clubs which entered European competitions, and were subject to the new break-even requirements, requested to submit additional information.

"From that group, the examination as regards 67 clubs has come to an end and continues only in relation to the nine remaining clubs," said a UEFA statement.

"Further information shall be provided once this process has been completed."

UEFA is expected to impose heavy fines, and a wage cap on the squads to appear in next season's Champions League.

They are not expected, however, to include a tournament ban.

The idea of the sanctions is that a restriction in the expenditure on players by clubs who have breached the rules will help them in their efforts to comply with the limits on losses in future seasons.

Clubs can lose up to 45 million euros (£37 million) over the last two years under UEFA's rules.

City accumulated deficits of £97.9 million in 2012 and £51.6 million last year, but were able to write off some sums spent on facilities, youth development and a number of other items.

Both Qatari-owned PSG and Abu Dhabi-owned City have a number of sponsorship deals related to their owners which the CFCB had to determine whether or not they were of fair market value.

PSG effectively wiped out its annual losses of 130 million euros (£107.4 million) by announcing a back-dated sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority worth up to 200 million euros a year.

UEFA president Michel Platini has already said he expects none of the clubs involved will be barred from European competition next season.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday that UEFA needs to show it means business when they announce sanctions.

"There are rules to apply for the financial fair play. If you don't respect them, you have to apply the rules," said Wenger.

"One of the rules is that normally you should be banned for the excess of the financial amount that is not justified, that is if you are £100 million overboard, you should be punished for £100 million of your wages bill in the Champions League.

"I want to see that respected, if that is not respected, then the financial fair play will have problems to be respected in the future because everyone will just not consider it at all.

"If it is not respected, of course we will feel let down."

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