UEFA: Player wages soar as club losses hit record

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LONDON (AP) -- UEFA says losses across European soccer clubs are ballooning as player salaries soar, despite the economic crisis engulfing the continent.

A report shows losses by top division clubs tripled over five years to a record $2.3 billion, and the cost of paying players leapt 40 percent to $11.2 billion.

But in the 2011 financial year, UEFA found the total debt of the 654 clubs' accounts analyzed dropped by around 10 percent to $10.5 billion.

However, 62 percent of clubs breached at least one of the UEFA rules designed to safeguard soccer's financial future.

And 139 of the 220 clubs playing in the Champions League or Europa League this season breached at least one of the Financial Fair Play rules.