NYON: European governing body UEFA is investigating 76 clubs in European competition this season for possible breaches of its Financial Fair Play rules.

The 76 clubs – which represents about one-third of the total number playing in Europe – all failed UEFA’s rules for 2012 and have been asked to provide financial information for 2013.

They have been asked to give updated financial statements to an independent UEFA-appointed panel monitoring their finances.

UEFA says it will announce the first sanctions against clubs in April and more serious cases will be judged by June.

A total of 237 clubs – every side entering the Champions League and Europa League this season – were assessed . Some 104 were considered exempt as their relevant income and expenses are under £4.1m per year, while 57 were not requested to submit additional information.

Chelsea – despite high levels of spending on transfers and wages since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 – is expected to comply with FFP requirements and is understood not to be among the 76 sides that Uefa have requested additional information from.

Clubs are allowed permissible losses of up to £37m under the break-even rule between 2011 and 2013. Once accounts for 2013, are fully analysed some may then be deemed compliant.

Punished clubs are likely to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the pressure is likely to see final verdicts postponed from effect until the 2015-16 season.

All of this is likely to increase pressure on UEFA president Michel Platini to stand again for its leadership – rather than that of FIFA – in the spring of next year to see thr0ugh full implementation of financial fair play.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “This figure of 76 clubs is a high figure but it has to be looked at in the perspective of what the end figure will be.”

UEFA’s rules for FFP state that clubs will be punished by potential bans from European competition if they do not balance their books, allowing them to lose only €45m (£38m) over a three-year period – provided these losses are covered by a benefactor.