English Premier League clubs risk financial ruin if they attempt to compete with the spending power of Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City, according to UEFA General Secretary, David Taylor.(pic)
City have spent huge sums on the likes of Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor during the off-season but Taylor believes they, and Spanish giants Real Madrid, are setting a dangerous precedent.
'I would say in this financial climate, it is surprising, a little bit destabilising of the market,' Taylor told BBC Radio Five.
'It is raising the ante in terms of the player costs, in terms of the general market place, which is not a thing that gives us a great deal of comfort in these difficult times. There is certainly disquiet in the corridors of power here at UEFA.'
The demise of Leeds United, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 saddled with debts, is often used as an example of how a big club can hit the rocks and Taylor said their plight should be a warning.
'They fell into serious financial difficulties by over-extending themselves. In this current economic environment, I would never say never to anything like that.
'Clearly we do not see that as imminent but the concern is that we have to establish a stronger financial basis on which clubs can compete.'