MONACO (AP) — UEFA president Michel Platini called for a reform to the transfer window on Friday, labeling the current system a "robbery."
With Real Madrid on the verge of paying 100 million euros ($132 million) for Gareth Bale, Platini said something needs to change.
"I think transfers are a robbery," Platini said. "I think it's an opportunity for a lot of people to make a lot of money. Today a player is more a product than a footballer with a whole pile of people trying to get commissions.
"We and FIFA should do something and find something more healthy. Players are not free anymore and that's what we fought for 30 years ago. Before you belonged to a club, now you belong to financial holding party. I don't think this is right. We're looking into it and asking FIFA to as well."
Platini wants the transfer window to be shortened and is looking into the possibility of all European leagues starting at the same time.
"I agree it is too long but the whole world is involved and don't play at the same time as we do," Platini added. "The clubs also want to have transfers finished before the start of their competition.
"The strategic committee includes the clubs and leagues and we will ask FIFA to have a look into what we propose and for all European leagues to start at the same time. I agree this window is too long and will have to shorten."
While Platini said Bale's transfer fee is extravagant, he added that Real Madrid — which had a turnover last year of more than 250 million euros ($330 million) — has not broken any financial fair play rules.
Those rules have been called into question of late, with Monaco criticized after spending heavily since winning promotion last season. There have also been question marks over whether the spending habits of clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City comply with the rules.
"Monaco is not in European competition. We're interested in clubs in European competitions," Platini said. "When it comes to Paris we'll talk to them, they'll have to face decisions taken by the committee. Manchester City, too.
"We gave them four years. In May, we'll have the first decisions, we'll say this has to be done. Monaco could be a problem next year if they qualify for European competitions."
Platini also reiterated his stance against goal-line technology, and ruled out implementing it in the Champions League or Europa League. However, he added that UEFA's executive committee would decide whether to allow it for the 2016 European Championship.
"From the start I was against this technology because then we will have the offside technology, the penalties, the throw-ins, the corners, we will have everything and that will indeed be the opening of Pandora's box," he said. "We have other sports in Europe having huge problems and the technology is not 100 percent reliable."
Platini also backed keeping the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and said he would still have voted for the Arab country had he known it could entail moving the tournament to the winter.
"I told you from the beginning that I was going to vote for Qatar," Platini said. "I'm the only one you know who he voted for. I was always transparent. I said I vote for Qatar because I think it is time we take the World Cup to an Arabic country.
"It is only a break of one month. We normally stop one month in May, instead we stop one month at another time. I will say something to the English: We respect your calendar for 150 years, for one month in 150 years you can change."