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Blatter slams English clubs over debt

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Blatter slams English football debt
  • FIFA President Sepp Blatter says English clubs need to better manage their finances
  • Blatter says English clubs are guilty of overpaying their players.
  • Blatter calls on clubs not to spend more than their earn.

(CNN) -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter has criticized English Premier League football clubs for running up mountains of debt and overpaying their players.

Leading clubs Manchester United and Liverpool have a combined debt of over $1.4 billion prompting supporters of both to protest against their owners, both of whom are American.

Last month, Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to go into administration with debts of around $90 million, according to their administrator Andrew Andronikou.

"I think something is wrong here with the Premier League," Blatter told CNN "To let a club go into administration, this is not good.

The battle for Manchester United explained

"Even the big Manchester (United) are just able to pay the interest of their debt but there are clubs that are not even able to pay the interest of their debt. This is not correct, this is not good.

"These clubs why are they in debt, because they pay too high salaries to their players they spend more money than they have."

Blatter said FIFA were powerless to intervene in the financial set-ups of Premier League clubs but called on the English Football Association "to make sure their clubs are in good order".

He compared the influx of foreign owners into English football with the situation in other European leagues like Spain and Germany, where fans are often the sole or majority owners of clubs.

The plea from the sport's most powerful figure comes just two days after Britain's ruling Labour party proposed new laws stipulating that supporters' groups must own over 25 per cent of their club and have the option to buy it should they encounter financial difficulties.

Blatter cited the number of players on the rosters of Premier League clubs as one of the major reasons for their financial difficulties.

Club including Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have more than 40 professional players in their squads. Earlier this month, the Premier League granted Portsmouth permission to sell players outside the transfer window in order to reduce their wage bill.

Blatter said salary caps would be impossible to enforce under European law but urged clubs to live within their means.

He added: "Salary caps will automatically come in if you can agree to this principle that you cannot spend more money then your income."