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Problems run deeper than management at individual clubs...

UEFA president Michel Platini has criticised the 'liberal' way in which financial affairs have been run at Premier League clubs in recent years, claiming that it has created the current situation at Portsmouth.

Premier League chief exectutive Richard Scudamore has claimed that Pompey, who revealed debts of £119 million last week, had got into such a mess through "rank bad management".

Platini believes that the issue is more complex than that and there were not enough regulations in place to prevent the club finding themselves in such a desperate situation.

"I'm not in favour of the big liberalism of what has happened with the English clubs," the Frenchman told The Times.

"I'm not an expert of finance, but it was easy to understand that clubs like Portsmouth would be in big danger of going bankrupt and going down. We have to protect them. Why was this club winning (the FA Cup in 2008) with losses of £50 million?

"When I was younger, I remember seeing people with no money buy Ferraris - and then, because of the Ferrari, they would get the best girls!

"That's not correct, but it's what has happened in football: you don't have the money to buy the players, but you get the players and in the end you cheat and win the competition. That's not correct."

The Premier League responded to the comments by admitting that the earlier introduction of new rules might have helped Portsmouth, but also insisted that regulation was not necessarily the answer to football's current financial problems.

"Had we been able to introduce our financial criteria a year earlier, that would have certainly helped ease the problems faced by Portsmouth," the statement claimed.

"The new rules, which we believe will help clubs operate in a more sustainable manner, combined with further regulations to be introduced this summer, should prevent another club in the Premier League reaching the point where their very existence is threatened.

"Having said that, regulation is not a cure-all. There are numerous examples of clubs in leagues deemed to be more heavily regulated than the Premier League that have got into difficulties."

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