Saturday December 29 2012
Platini: 'Stadiums are a problem'

UEFA President Michel Platini urges Serie A clubs to follow the lead set by Juventus and warns “your stadiums are the real problem.”

Juve are the only club in Italy to own their venue, as a law making it easier for sides to achieve this has all but been abandoned after getting stuck in the political machinery. Other clubs rent the arena from the local council.

“Your stadiums are the real problem,” Platini told Sky Sport Italia during the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

“They need to be rebuilt, but the first thing needed is the political backing. Stadiums may not be worth points on the table, but they do gain credibility in terms of Financial Fair Play. It is important to resolve the economic problems of clubs.

“Juve have become global. They started winning again in Italy and are now poking their nose into Europe too. I don’t know if their team is strong enough to win the Champions League yet. It’s an issue of mentality and my Juve in the 80s had it. I hope they’ll be able to cut the waiting time and win soon.”

Platini was naturally asked to comment on the betting scandal that is still developing with Napoli docked two points and Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava suspended for six months.

“Antonio Conte was punished by the Italian sporting justice system, but everyone was happy to see him return. Napoli’s penalty is down to the Italian authorities and I don’t think this regards UEFA.”

Le Roi also commented on troubled Manchester City and Italy star Mario Balotelli.

“I have known many very strong talents who didn’t have a great career because they made mistakes. I hope he won’t end up that way. He is the only one who must make those choices to become a champion.”

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