I’ve just read something that Michel Platini was saying yesterday when he reinforced the goal of the new Finanical Fair Play rules to the the European media. The goal is pretty simple really – to make sure clubs can survive financially by only spending what they can afford.
It’s seems like common sense, but it’s common sense that football seems to have lacked for so long. Spending is getting out of control, and limiting spending to only what a club can afford makes sense in the long term.
It should signal the end of the huge spending that is currently being witnessed at Manchester City for example. They are a clear case of a club that is being bankrolled by a very wealthy owner. Under the new rules that won’t, or shouldn’t, be allowed. Any transfer activity will have to be conducted through the books of the club.
Failure to adhere to these rules could end up in clubs facing sanctions from UEFA and for the those clubs to be refused entry into European competition such as the Champions League or Europa League, which will in turn hit the guilty clubs further, or in the pocket should I say, where it will hurt the most.
The success of the new rules depends on how many loopholes there are. One loophole that has been banded around is with regard to advertising revenue. What is to stop these rich owners paying an over the top price for advertising one of their companies? Well, all advertsing deals will have to be market tested to ensure that they are a fair reflection of what could have been achieved in the open market so to speak.
All this talk of clubs being self-sufficient and being able to run as a business sounds familiar though doesn’t it? In fact it sounds remarkably what Mike Ashley and co have said that the are trying to achieve at Newcastle. I don’t really like the man, and I’ll probably never trust him, but he could be on to something with this.
I’ve read the opinions of some fans who want us to go out and spend money that we, apparently, don’t have on transfers. The feeling from some is that Ashley is being tight, but there is another angle that you can look at it from? Is Ashley preparing us for these new rules already?
As of next season, the accounts have to be submitted to UEFA so that they can be given a ‘health-check’. Whilst this only really affects clubs that will be in European competition, a lot of leagues around Europe are also adopting this approach, including the Premier League.
There will be certain clubs who are in for a culture shock when these new rules kick in. Teams like Aston Villa, Sunderland and Bolton would fail these new checks unless they change their ways as they are spending too much of their income on wages, and with Sunderland keen to push on to “the next level” it would be a crying shame if they were to be pegged back because of their own fecklessness
Teams like Manchester City will struggle to spend as much in the transfer market as they are doing now. The only way they could continue that is if they increase the revenue of the club. Qualifying for the Champions League would help that, but it still wouldn’t cover the £100,000,000+ losses that they have been making.
As for us, well this frugality will have come as bit of a culture shock I guess after the days of heavy spending under Freddy Shpeherd. It would appear that we are standing still in the transfer market when in reality we are just searching for quality at a decent price. We are going through this now, but other teams have it all to come.
What do you think?
P.S. Please ignore this technical bit: YUNUDR297YVU « Cheik Tiote loses red card appeal. | Who is our best central defender? Vote now. »