Article published 29 March 2012

Last week was an truly excellent week for Platini and saw him secure approval from the European Commission to the Financial Fair Play rules. Platini has been concerned that any excluded club may challenge the legality of the punishment (hence he recently bolstered his legal dept) (see article from 16 March).  Approval from the European Commission was essential for Platini as he has now closed the door on any legal challenge.  He must have been delighted to see that they didn't just confirm the legality of the FFP regulations but went a step further and said that they supported the rules; "I believe it is essential for football clubs to have a solid financial foundation" said Joaquin Almunia, vice-president of the EC. As the attached article explains, any club wishing to complain about their FFP punishment has to take their grievance to ..... the European Commission.

Platini would have been aware of Commission's intention to approve the FFP rules when he gave his interview to AFP a few days earlier.  The statements from Platini are probably the toughest and most forthright pronouncements on his personal project: 

 " There'll be no backtracking",

 "We (at UEFA) probably won't be popular but we have to do it, otherwise football will be destroyed"

Platini said he was prepared to be in the firing line if clubs that transgress were banned from European competition but he said the rules were "important for the legitimacy and popularity" of the game