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Sports

German Bundesliga Seeks to Boost TV Revenues Abroad

German soccer clubs who play and train in key foreign markets can expect a bonus of up to 500,000 euros ($678,000), the German football league reportedly said.

Cologne's head coach Christoph Daum

Go for launch -- Bundesliga clubs are set to play and train more often abroad

Die Welt daily, in a report made available ahead of publication on Thursday, Oct. 9, said the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) aims to raise its income from television rights sold abroad from 20 million euros per year to 35 million euros over the next three years.

The DFL's goal was to claw back lost ground and rake in a foreign income comparable to the Spanish and the Italian leagues, which earn around 60 million euros per year, DFL official Christian Seifert was quoted as saying.

The English Premier League is by far the most profitable competition in Europe with around 300 million euros generated each year outside England.

Key foreign markets include Asia, where Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich played after finishing the season 2007-2008, and the Middle East, which is a growing destination for winter-break training camps of clubs.

Die Welt said the DFL had set aside 2 million euros for bonus payments and that clubs playing or training abroad would work closely with the DFL.

UEFA head criticizes foreign ownership

UEFA President Michel Platini

UEFA President Michel Platini says foreign ownership should be regulated

The decision by German soccer officials to spread the good word about the Bundesliga comes amid criticism by European soccer chief Michel Platini of the high rates of foreign ownership of some of Europe's largest clubs.

He said a soccer club's identity was firmly connected not only to its location and fans, but also to its owners and players, and that if neither of the latter exhibited any resemblance to either of the former, then that was a recipe for the loss of soccer individuality and uniqueness.

"Do you want in Liverpool an Arab sheikh as president with one Brazilian coach and nine or 11 African players?

"Where is Liverpool in that? We have to make some rules.

"What is football? Football is a game and this game has become popular because of the identity. You have to have identity. That is where football's popularity lies."

Platini, a former French national team midfield magician, said he would investigate the possibility of regulating foreign ownership of clubs across Europe, but admitted that varying European national constitutions would be a substantial hurdle to overcome in that quest.

Football debt to be examined

Manchester United players celebrate on the final whistle of a Champions League semifinal

Playing rosters are pushing English clubs into record levels of debt

A top UEFA official said Wednesday that the financial requirements model used for teams in the German and Swiss national leagues was viable for use as the basis for a Europe-wide system to regulate club debt.

David Taylor, UEFA general secretary, told a conference in London that the European soccer body would launch talks next week on potential changes to the way clubs are licensed with the aim of reviewing how they run their finances.

Several clubs, notably from England, dominate European competitions, believed possible because of the exorbitant debts they all shoulder.

"We cannot let things stay as they are," Taylor said. "In some countries like Germany and Switzerland, stronger requirements are put on clubs in terms of bank guarantees and having no negative equity. These are the models we have to look at."

On Tuesday, the chairman of England's Football Association, Lord David Triesman, put the combined debt of English clubs at around 3 billion pounds.

He warned of "very tangible dangers" to large clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea in the current uncertain financial times.

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