Rome - Football clubs must learn to manage their budgets responsibly, UEFA president Michel Platini said Tuesday, in a speech in which he also called for new rules banning the practice of third-party player ownership.
"We have started to put football on the right track," he said in a speech to European Union sports ministers, meeting in Rome as Italy is holding the rotating presidency of the bloc.
"Each of us must measure how far we have come.
"Aggregate losses among European clubs, which had reached €1.7 billion euros in 2011, fell to €800 million in 2013, a drop of more than 50 per cent in less than two years," Platini insisted.
He said that UEFA's financial fair play came down to "two sayings: 'You should live within your means' and 'There is a line that must not be crossed.'"
UEFA imposed sanctions on Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, the champions of England and France, in summer for failing to comply with financial fair play rules.
Turning to third-party player ownership, a practice that sees agents or other investors buy shares in young players as if they were a commodity in return for a percentage of their future transfer fees, Platini denounced it as against "human dignity."
"This terrible practice, previously seen only in South America, is now sweeping through the whole of Europe," UEFA's boss said.
Top players from Argentina and Brazil, like Neymar, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Anderson and Hernanes, have been brought to Europe through transfer deals involving payouts to third-party owners.
"There is no place for third-party ownership of players in European sport," Platini warned.
"A tailor-made legal framework is therefore required. If we fail to deal with this properly, it will not just be a defeat for UEFA, nor even just for the sports movement, but for all of Europe."