uefa.logoUEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules have not been weakened by recent changes, an official from European football’s governing body told reporters in London on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, UEFA relaxed FFP rules to enable club owners to continue injecting cash, provided they produce a business plan showing how they will eventually break even.

UEFA were accused of bowing to pressure from clubs such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, who are seeking to upset established hierarchies in their respective countries, but the organisation’s financial experts say it is inaccurate to claim that FFP has lost its teeth.

“On the contrary, the rules were made stricter,” Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s head of FFP, told the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London.

“The regulations had to be fine-tuned to make them more efficient and effective.

“We are strongly of the opinion that financial figures point towards a more stable and sustainable position for top-division European cubs.”

Backing up his claims, Traverso pointed to figures showing that European clubs’ losses fell by two-thirds between 2011 and 2014, from 1.67 billion euros ($1.88 billion) to 486 million euros, and that those clubs enjoyed record combined operating profits of 800 million euros in 2014.

He added that “media hype” about the rising amount of money spent on transfers was misleading because it did not take into account transfer spending as a percentage of revenue.

UEFA also disclosed that attendances across Europe were the lowest for 10 years in the 2014-15 season, with England and Germany among the countries whose leagues bucked the trend. – Agence France-Presse

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