Financial Fair Play readies for the end of the season

By on July 18, 2012

While the new football season is not too far away and supporters’ minds are focusing on the big kick-off, many clubs are having to look forward to the implementation of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations at the close of the season.

An attempt to curtail the huge levels of debt and financial losses in European football, Financial Fair Play (FFP) is set to come into play after the coming season and thus 2012/13 offers the last chance for clubs to reign in their finances.

Market value

Despite assurances from leading clubs that they’re working towards being self-sustainable (most notably from Chelsea and Man City in recent seasons) and threats of penalties and European-competition exclusion, there is significant doubt that the scheme will really work to reduce debt and reduce the effects of ‘sugar daddies’.

Man City – makers of a record £197m loss last season and the only Premier League club where wages exceed revenue – in particular have been accused of working around FFP by effectively sponsoring their own stadium, however EUFA will claim any payments ‘above market value’ will be investigated.

Meanwhile, clubs with huge but ‘sustainable’ debt covered by revenues – including Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid – will avoid any serious penalties, despite Man Utd fans having their own concerns about the ownership and financial management of the club.

Hurt and favour

Certainly the recent liquidation of Rangers Football Club in Scotland heightens the clear need for more stringent financial controls in football and to stop clubs paying out against their means and protect supporters. Whether cheering in the stands or impersonating their heroes on the 5 a side football pitch, football fans are the people who are really getting hurt.

However while it could stop clubs going ‘bust’ there are concerns from the football community at large that FFP will not level the playing field. In essence acceptable business debt will still exist, and the clubs with huge revenues will continue as is while smaller clubs will struggle to bridge that financial gap – we could see further dominance of the ‘favoured few’ power clubs.

Will FFP have a real effect on the game? Get involved in the comments section.

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8 Comments

  1. Richard

    July 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Yet another clueless comment on FFP. First, FFP actually stands for Fix Football Permanently – It can only cement the position of the top clubs in Europe as teams without Champs League income will simply not be able to compete with those clubs who have. Newcastle, Villa, Everton, Sunderland (maybe even Liverpool and Spurs) can wave goodbye to a successful future.
    Second FFP states that related payments are from close relatives or companies owned by the same person. They simply do not apply to Ethiad and Sheikh Mansour.
    Thirdly City’s commercial revenue is going through the roof with new Multi million pound sponsorships being announced on a regular basis. The bottom line being “Do you want to do business in Abu Dhabhi?”.
    My bet is they will just make or fail FFP at the end of the coming season but will easily make it when penalties can be applied.

    • Phil The Blue

      July 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Spot on Richard. I like “Fix Football Permanently”. Since the PSG takeover Platini has gone quiet. Could it be that French construction and energy companies have contracts in Quatar?

  2. ChrisW

    July 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Man City may be OK, very long term. But there is no way they will be even close to meeting the requirements of FFP in the next year or two. Platini will soon either have to ban them from European competitions or give up on FFP (because if he doesn’t take action against the very worst offender he can’t take action against anyone else).

  3. Chris B

    July 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    FFP has been drawn up to protect the established elite. They and Platini do want their collective gravy train to be threatened by other emerging clubs. The irony is that most of these so called big clubs have dire finances. Real are in effect financed by the Spanish government in order to match Barca. Utd have a balance sheet showing that they are several hundred million in debt. This is a transparent ploy to keep City from dominating world football.

  4. HeavyRiffs

    July 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Anyone that says City won’t meet FFP, is a fool, plain and simple. Secondly I’m sick of the £197m figure bring banded about wrongly, it wasn’t for last season, it was for 2010/2011, do some basic research, it doesn’t count towards FFP.

    • Chris j

      August 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

      I think you need a calculator mate. City’s wages will have gone up last yrar and there is no way their turnover will go from 150 million to over 350 million

  5. Steve

    July 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Chrisw you don’t know what you are talking about. Man city have carefully planned what they are doing. That is why they spent so much money so quickly. You will find that the spending will tail back dramatically now and they will meet the targets required. It will be interesting though how platini treats PSG with all their spending

  6. Alan S

    July 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Well said Richard. FFP should stand for ‘Fix Football Permanently’ because that is it’s true objective. I remain convinced that if UEFA attempt to ban City or any other club from European competition then there will be a challenge in the courts to this corrupt rule and the result will be that it is thrown out and Platini and co exposed as having had their palms greased. We know FIFA is corrupt but when you look at this poor attempt at protectionism I think we can safely assume that UEFA are too.

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