UEFA probes 76 clubs over Financial Fair Play rules

UEFA president Michel Platini has issued a powerful message to clubs who do not comply with the new Financial Fair Play rules.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

NYON, Switzerland — UEFA is investigating 76 Champions League and Europa League clubs for possibly breaking its Financial Fair Play rules.

UEFA says it will announce the first sanctions against clubs in April and more serious cases will be judged by June.

Clubs risk exclusion from future UEFA competitions for severe breaches of the rules, which are designed to curb spending and encourage breaking even on soccer-related trading.

At a UEFA briefing on Friday, clubs under investigation were not identified.

UEFA says the 76 — almost one third of clubs which entered the Champions League and Europa League this season — had a total deficit of $828 million.

The clubs have been asked to give updated financial statements to an independent UEFA-appointed panel monitoring their finances.