LONDON (AFP) - UEFA president Michel Platini has written letters to all European leaders asking for their help in saving football from the evil influence of money men whom he claims are ruining the modern game.
Platini's letter warns that football is at risk from businessman whose primary motive is profit and he calls on governments for their help as "the last hope for a healthy and balanced future of European football".
"A serious threat hangs over the development of European football: the malign and ever-present influence of money," wrote Platini in his letter which was reproduced in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.
"But money has never been the ultimate objective of football: the main purpose has always been to win trophies.
"For the first time we may be entering an era in which financial profit alone will be the measure of sporting success."
The comments from the 52-year-old French footballing legend, who took over as European football chief in January 2007, come as foreign ownership in the Premier League in particular is increasing.
A lucrative broadcast deal means that the professional game is also overflowing with cash.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has recently increased his stake in Arsenal, while Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Manchester City and West Ham have all been taken over by foreign owners.
Bolton, Derby, Blackburn, Fulham and Tottenham are also believed to be up for sale.
There had been speculation that the new European Union Reform Treaty might give football's governing bodies more power to tackle inequalities in the game as well as battling doping.
But Platini is upset that recommendations proposed by Portuguese minister Jose Luis Arnaut have been rejected in favour of a less strongly-worded article.
"This article doesn't go far enough to protect football from the rampant commercialism which assails on all sides," he complained.
"Millions of football fans, for whom I speak, are calling on Europe to do more to defend our football and the European sporting model based on financial solidarity between rich and poor, which is the only way to guarantee the values we cherish."
|Sanchez: World Cup exit spurred Chile to Copa glory|
|Jojic makes Cologne switch, Santana move falls through|
|Carrillo keen to get going at Monaco|
|Micronesia thrashed 38-0 as Fiji triumph in Olympic qualifier|
|Schalke stunned by ´machine´ Caicara|
|MLS Review: Keane shines at Gerrard´s Galaxy unveiling|
|Counter-attacking the key for Japan|
|Jimenez happy at Atletico|
|Gerrard predicts ´successful future´ with Galaxy|
|Iniesta can´t see Real selling Ramos|
|Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach|
|Three finals, three defeats for Messi, Mascherano|
|Nani close to Fenerbahce move|
|Sampaoli revels in ´unbelievable joy´|
|Bravo: Copa victory a dream|
|Martino: Argentina should have won|
|Chile 0 Argentina 0 (4-1 on penalties): Hosts end trophy drought|
|Germany 0 England 1 (after extra time): England make World Cup history|
|Kenya 0 Ethiopia 0 (agg 0-2): Hosts sent out of CHAN qualifiers after second penalty miss|
|Dortmund put 17 past Olympians, Bremen hand out thrashing|
|Dinamo Zagreb confirm arrests of coach and club president|
|I didn´t know who Wimbledon guest Klopp was - Brown|
|LeBron James backs Liverpool captain Henderson for FIFA 16 cover.|
|Ramos: I am not negotiating with anyone|
|Valencia complete Mina swoop|
|United States v Japan: US seek final redemption|
|Hanousek consigns Celtic to defeat|
|Roma confirm Dzeko interest|
|Arsenal forward Podolski completes Galatasaray switch|
|Warm Dortmund welcome delights Tuchel|
|Silva vows to fight for Madrid place|
|Mancini hints at Shaqiri and Santon departures|
|Bojan raring to go after return from injury|
|Babel backs Firmino to shine at Liverpool|
|Falcao must wait to impress, warns Chelsea favourite|
|Bartomeu: Deal in place for Turan|
|Parejo re-signs with Valencia|
|MLS Review: Sounders return to winning ways|
|Klinsmann unhappy with USA performance|
|High hopes for Paraguay - Diaz|
|Gareca: More to come from Peru|
|Gerrard had European offers|
|Argentina out to spoil Chile´s party - Martino|
|Sampaoli: Chile won´t change style|
|Di Maria will come good at United - Rojo|
|Peru 2 Paraguay 0: Gareca´s men finish third at Copa|
|United States 4 Guatemala 0: Klinsmann´s men win comfortably|
|´I’d prefer no-one to know my name´ - Bassett|
|Matthews completes Sunderland move|
|Podolski set for Galatasaray medical|
|Gundogan inspires Dortmund victory|
|Inter confirm Montoya capture|
|Murillo joins Inter, as Kuzmanovic and Obi depart|
|Falcao signing not a risk, says former Chelsea star|
|Deeney agrees new Watford deal|
|Confidence and service the key to Falcao success at Chelsea|
|No bids for ´Chelsea target´ Baba, claim Augsburg|
|Derby swoop for Ince|
|Fiorentina consider legal action over Salah ´no-show´|
|Chelsea the team to beat in the Premier League, says Neville|
|Storari exits Juve for Cagliari|
|UEFA removes FFP restrictions on Man City and PSG|
|West Brom hope for new owners within the month|
|Chelsea agree loan deal for Falcao|
|Kuyt eyes trophies on Feyenoord return|
|Chile v Argentina: History beckons ahead of Copa America final|
|Wallace extends Monaco loan|
|Mihajlovic wants to instill fear factor at Milan|
|Mignolet improving at Liverpool - Grobbelaar|
|Mumbai City name Anelka player-manager|
|Olivia the parrot predicts Japan to win Women´s World Cup|
|Lusitans coach blasts Bilic´s ´lack of respect´|
|Sakho eyes more Europa League wins|
|Gareca wants Peru to keep building|
|Chile ´no chance´ if Argentina produce their best - Diaz|
|Ocampos joins Marseille permanently|
|Europa League Review: Cloud-nine Brondby ignite opening round|