Platini: All-German final not proof of dominance
LILLE, France (AP)
UEFA president Michel Platini is distinctly underwhelmed by Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund reaching the Champions League final and does not see it as a sign of a power shift toward Germany in European football.
Bayern dismantled Barcelona 7-0 for the biggest aggregate winning margin in a Champions League semifinal, and Dortmund thumped four goals past Real Madrid before holding on in the second leg to set up a final few expected at Wembley Stadium on May 25.
Still, that does not impress Platini much.
''Conclusions are made every year with respect to the finalists,'' Platini said on Friday, speaking at a news conference about the 2016 European Championship to be held in France. ''We said the same thing five years ago about English clubs when it was Manchester United and Chelsea in the final, and about Italian clubs when it was Milan against Juventus (in 2003).''
Barcelona has been the dominant force in European football in recent years, winning the Champions League in 2009 and 2011. It reached a sixth straight semifinals this year but was handicapped without a fit Lionel Messi, who has a right hamstring injury.
Bayern has lost two recent finals - last year to Chelsea, which knocked out Barca in the semis, and in 2010 to Inter Milan, which also eliminated Barca in the semis. Barca was also defeated by United in the 2008 semis.
''I've never handed a (Champions League) trophy to a German club during my time (as president),'' Platini said. ''It's cyclical. It's a difficult cup to win and no team has won it two years a row, so I won't draw any conclusions about the fact there are two German clubs in the final.''
Platini, however, did praise German clubs for the way they run their clubs financially, calling the German financial model ''sane, healthy and clear. They can't have any deficit, not even one euro ... this is what we're trying to put into place (with Financial Fair Play rules).
''(Clubs) are ?1.7 billion ($2.23 billion) in debt when clubs have never received as much money, so something had to be done. I have taken things into hand and we will start that from next year.''
Since 2011, UEFA has been monitoring clubs' finances more closely and requires them to aim toward breaking even on their football-related business as a condition of entry for the Champions League and Europa League.
''Never have all parties been in such agreement. The clubs, the national associations, the politicians, everyone agrees on (the rules of) Financial Fair Play,'' Platini said. ''As from next year the clubs will go before the commission and we will see who is on board and who is not.''
Platini also delivered another broadside at video technology, maintaining his vehement stance against it.
''I'm not going to change now at 57 (years old),'' he said. ''I am against video technology. When you see how much it will cost us, it will be a catastrophe. ... Over five years, it would cost us 50 million euros ($65.6 million) to put the goal-line technology into place. Then you will ask me for the `offside technology.' (We) don't want to spend 50 million for one issue every six months.''
FIFA has committed to using goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the English Premier League will use it from next season.
Aside from the cost issue, Platini fears technology will breed a complaint culture whereby ''you will have reviews on every two goals.''