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UEFA confirms Liverpool probe over possible financial fair play breaches

UEFA has announced it has opened a formal investigation into Liverpool and six other European clubs for possible financial fair play breaches.

Monaco, Roma, Besiktas, Inter Milan, Krasnodar and Sporting Lisbon are the other clubs under investigation.

The clubs have recently submitted their accounts to UEFA and are due to be asked to provide further information on their finances as the governing body dictates that losses must be restricted to £35.4million over a two-year window.

Liverpool reported losses of £49.8m for the 2012-13 season, and £40.5m for the 10-month period before that.  

A statement from UEFA read: “The clubs disclosed a break-even deficit on the basis of their financial reporting periods ending in 2012 and 2013.

“These clubs will need to submit additional monitoring information during October and November upon the deadlines set by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, subsequent to which, an additional communication shall be made and conservatory measures may be imposed.”

Liverpool face no immediate sanction as they prepare to provide further details to UEFA throughout the next two months, though the provisional withholding of Champions League funds lingers as a potential next step.

The Reds are thought to be confident they will avoid such penalties by virtue of lucrative new commercial deals and writing off some previous losses. It is also understood the 2013-14 figures will show a profit when they are formally announced in the spring. 

FFP allows certain spending streams, including youth development and stadium expenditure, to exist outside of its strict guidelines and Liverpool will argue that a £35m chunk of their 2011-12 deficit was attached to former co-owner Tom Hicks' aborted plans for a new stadium on Stanley Park.

Earlier, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had said the club are comfortable with UEFA's investigation because they support the system.

Rodgers said: "It's obviously something that will be dealt with by the directors. It's something we're comfortable with because we're great advocates of financial fair play. It's ongoing with the club."

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain received heavy penalties last season for breaching FFP rules, which oblige clubs not to spend beyond their means.

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