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UEFA withholds prize money from 23 clubs

UEFA has temporarily withheld prize money due to 23 clubs involved in 2012-13 UEFA club competitions, the governing body for European football has revealed.

Europa League winners Atletico Madrid were among the clubs to have prize money withheld.

UEFA said the clubs, who also include Qatari-owned La Liga side Malaga and Portugal's Sporting Lisbon, were found to have "important" overdue payments to other teams, their own employees or social and tax authorities.

As a result, their money for taking part in European competition would be withheld pending further investigation, UEFA said in a statement.

The clubs will have to provide an updated report on 30 September to a UEFA committee led by former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene.

Daniel Liptrott, part of the Sport sector group at international law firm Eversheds, sees this as a positive step forward in shaking up the game.

“Against the backdrop of recent developments encouraging the introduction of financial fair play rules into the Barclays Premier League, we see that UEFA have started to implement the first round of measures relating to paying certain creditors by temporarily withholding prize money from UEFA competitions,” he said.

“Whilst this currently does not affect any of the usual heavyweights of European football, although Europa League and Super Cup winners Atletico Madrid are included, it does send a message from UEFA that as the other various measures of the Financial Fair Play Regulations come into effect over the next few seasons, UEFA will be enforcing the consequences of not having a club’s finances in order.”

There were no clubs from the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A or Ligue 1 in France among the clubs named.

By Josh Harris

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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