Platini calls for transfer reform
UEFA president Michel Platini is to push for the transfer window to be shortened and claims the fees paid for players are "a robbery".
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Real Madrid are set to pay around £86million for Gareth Bale and Platini said although the Spanish club can afford the Tottenham player, there needs to be a healthier approach to transfers generally.
Platini told reporters in Monaco: "In terms of the morality (of the fee) this question was being asked when (Diego) Maradona was transferred - people said 'wow, 5million for a player' and then it was Mr Zidane and then Cristiano Ronaldo and now Mr Bale - 100million euros.
"There is certainly money for this kind of transfer - Real Madrid have a turnover of more than 250million (euros) and if they buy three players for a total sum of 100million this question would not be asked, and they could pay in instalments.
"I think transfers are a robbery - when I was playing every time I had finished a contract I was free to go wherever I went. I think it's an opportunity for a lot of people to make a lot of money.
"Today a player is more a product than a footballer with a whole pile of people trying to get commissions.
"I think we and FIFA should think about that and find something more healthy."
In terms of the transfer window, Platini said UEFA's strategic committee would look into the issue and could suggest that all European leagues start at the same time to reduce the length of the window.
He added: "I agree it is too long but the whole world is involved and don't play at the same time as we do. The clubs also want to have transfers finished before the start of their competition.
"The strategic committee includes the clubs and leagues and we will ask FIFA to have a look into what we propose and for all European leagues to start at the same time.
"I agree this window is too long and will have to shorten it."
Platini said he believed Bale was a very good player - but that it would a disaster for Real Madrid if he failed to deliver.
He added: "If Real Madrid want to pay this amount of money I think he could be good otherwise it's a disaster for Real Madrid if they pay this money and he is not good.
"But what I saw sometimes he is a very good player.
"It's a very subjective discussion. For the last 30 years since Maradona people have said this or that transfer is not good but that's life."
Platini also claimed that the decision to allow goal-line technology had opened a "Pandora's box" with pressure now for all decisions such as offsides and penalties to be decided by a video referee - the new FA chairman Greg Dyke is among those in favour.
The UEFA president said: "From the start I was against this technology because then we will have the offside technology, the penalties, the throw-ins, the corners, we will have everything and that will indeed be the opening of Pandora's box.
"We have other sports in Europe having huge problems and their technology is not 100% reliable.
"In France rugby was using this for forward passes and TV companies then say they want to start matches earlier as they are having to review every action. Huge problems are created and referees no longer take decisions, they are waiting for technology to decide."
Platini ruled out allowing goal-line technology in the Champions League and Europa League but said UEFA's executive committee would decide whether to allow it for Euro 2016 in France.
Technology was a major talking point during the recent Ashes series when the decision review system (DRS) came under intense criticism.
The International Cricket Council was forced to fly a representative to meet players and officials mid-way through the series after complaints from both England and Australia.
The validity of Hot Spot, a thermal-imaging technology, was called into question while errors made by television umpires were highlighted - often by technology only available to the TV networks broadcasting the matches.