Platini: Financial Fair Play already working

The France legend also claimed that there is nothing new about the uproar which has greeted Gareth Bale's record-breaking move to Real Madrid
Uefa president Michel Platini says that Financial Fair Play is already having a beneficial effect on the way football is run.

Upon hearing that Real Madrid were ready to break the transfer record to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham this summer, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed that the proposed fee of €100 million made "a joke" of the regulations brought in to curb spending by Europe's cubs.

However, Platini says all of the statistical evidence related to the first season of FFP suggests otherwise.

"This is something we've been working towards for four years and the figures show that it is already working well," the 58-year-old told De Telegraaf.

"In 2010, the top Europeans had a debt of €1.7 billion. The new vetting of over 700 European professional clubs has shown that debt has fallen to €1.1b."

"In 2011, there was talk of the top sides owing €57 million in unpaid salaries and bills to players, clubs and other taxes. That amount is now €9m."

However, Platini added that he was unsurprised by the uproar surrounding the size of Bale's transfer fee and says public reaction has always been negative whenever a large sum has been spent on a footballer.

"What can I say about this? This discussion began 30 years ago when €5m was paid for Diego Maradona and then came Zinedine Zidane for €60m and €80m for Cristiano Ronaldo," he reasoned.

"The people have been indignant about the money that is paid for footballers for 30 years."