Financial Fair Play - Good or Evil?

sat10

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Aug 21, 2009
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So as a lot of you must've heard, UEFA is imposing new Financial Fair Play rules from June 1, to basically stop the big clubs from spending big..i.e. more than they make..as the smaller clubs can't compete with them financially, and hence it creates a big divide in the footballing quality between these clubs as well..so UEFA are trying to close this gap down...and simply put..bring fairness to the game. Failure to comply might eventually end up in suspension from the Champions League.

What do you guys think? Is it something that was really necessary, and is it even going to work out?

For those who are not up to date with this topic, Goal.com has been running an in -depth coverage of this issue today..

What is Financial Fair Play and how will Uefa enforce it on the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona?


How will 10 of Europe's biggest clubs cope with Financial Fair Play?


European football needs Financial Fair Play to save the game from 'disaster' - Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino


'The era of the £200,000-a-week footballer is not over' - the views on FFP from Uefa, players, agents, coaches & executives
 

Joel`

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Jul 23, 2010
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Good.

It's not meant to prevent clubs spending big. It's made to prevent clubs from spending outside their means, there's a huge difference.
 

W4FC B3N

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It was mentioned on Alan Sugars program the other night and a fella had suggested giving teams a percentage of their own revenue to spend but that would be ideal for the mega rich clubs and far from fair for the poorer setups. It is a cracking idea, but it isn't going to be fair all around, however they do it.
 

LeedsRed

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I think it's a great idea, just curious to see if they will apply the sanctions to a big club if they fall foul of the rules..
 

Mads2506

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If they prohibit using more than your club can use of money, I'm all in. The amount of teams in debt is astounding.
 

Joel`

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It was mentioned on Alan Sugars program the other night and a fella had suggested giving teams a percentage of their own revenue to spend but that would be ideal for the mega rich clubs and far from fair for the poorer setups. It is a cracking idea, but it isn't going to be fair all around, however they do it.
Nor is it fair to prevent large clubs spending what they have earned through prolonged success and a strong business model.

---------- Post added at 04:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:02 PM ----------

Good, easily. I don't see a bad side, frankly.
..It's another thing for UEFA to **** up.
 

sat10

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even i have my doubts as to to how far they'll actually go with this? I don't think they'll dare suspend the likes of Barcelona and the Manchester clubs...and then again, they may do it just to prove a point..although thats very unlikely
 

Jamie.

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Good.
My only query would be surely the Premier League deserves a better model?
If a club is owned by a billionaire the rules should say that so long as there is no loan taken out against club assets and the billionaire pays/pumps money in of his own accord then surely I can not see anything wrong with that?
UEFA's FFP is the same for every european country/league which I find obsurd because accounting/financial structure completely differs from country to country, Madrid is in bed with spanish banks whilst Barcelona fund their exploits through low interest loans with almost no capital investment from their owners. In Italy the owners basically fund all the sales and have reasonable debt levels club to club but the structure of co ownership etc means that wages/transfer expenditure is very low in Serie B, if an owner IS a billionaire and he wants to throw millions at it so long as its out of his pocket then I can not see any reason not too? I mean like Sheikh Mansour does at the end of every financial year , he clears the debt. Thats a couple of problems I see with the package, the one flexibility in the FFP law is the figures taken into account are the clubs direct capital income and the capital expenditure counted as transfers/wages etc can be worked out under 'the clubs choice of accounting strategy' in other words they could find ways of tying in some wage money as 'cost'. I am almost certain clubs across Europe will put signing on fee's and agent fee's down as cost on the expenses and not deem it necessary to put on the FFP balance of the clubs books. I just think the premier league and Scudamore need to take some action to alter the bill to fit into the English game AND stand up for the Premier League a bit, no other league in the world has so many billionaires in it and the turnover the Premier League generates is 2.78 Billion pounds so surely we have a say in new regulations?
 

Joel`

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even i have my doubts as to to how far they'll actually go with this? I don't think they'll dare suspend the likes of Barcelona and the Manchester clubs...and then again, they may do it just to prove a point..although thats very unlikely
Platini's rep is on the line, as well as UEFA's credibility.

@Jimmer: Because you shouldn't be allowed to buy your way to success. Your club fights to the top, gains money which can be spent on further success, a cycle like this. It's not fair to other teams in the league if another has substantial external forces acting to influence its success. Hence why the rules are all based around limiting debt and spending what you make. There's a reason competition laws exist in society and why they're being implemented into football, just because you have money to spend doesn't give you the unlimited right to do what you like.

Plus these rules are protecting clubs. It's not good for sustainability if clubs build up massive debts that they can't afford, and we don't want to see more go the way of Portsmouth. Short term success should never be substituted for long term sustainability.
 

dmlambert

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I think if a team can afford it then they should be able to spend what they want to. Like Jimmer said, if the Billionnaire is pumping his own money into the club and not securing it against the club and the club has no debt then there surely is no problem with it. But its the teams that over spend on the hope that they can earn the money in the future and then start running at a loss.

I can see the other side to it. Makes it a fair level playing field and then more development into youth and training, meaning that hopefully more potential home grown talent coming through.

I expect some teams will find a way around it.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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I'm thinking they're good, but I'm wary - most regulations actually do the opposite of what they're supposed to do, e.g. minimum wage, making it harder to fire handicapped people etc.
 

Joel`

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I'm thinking they're good, but I'm wary - most regulations actually do the opposite of what they're supposed to do, e.g. minimum wage, making it harder to fire handicapped people etc.
How does the minimum wage do the opposite to what it's supposed to do?
 

Jamie.

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Competition laws in football? Football has always been big clubs vs little clubs, teams like Stoke can't afford Tevez without FFP so it would make no difference if the rich stayed rich and the middle clubs stayed in the middle with regular sustainable finances. If the billionaires in question all agree to annual sheet balancing and keep the club 100 pct debt free long term then it should not make a difference in my opinion, Chelsea and Manchester City are such extra ordinary cases that I don't believe you can govern them the same way you can Vilareal for example. Sheikh Mansours family wealth fund is estimated to be 580 BILLION pounds with his personal wealth rumoured to be 23 billion, I genuinely can not see anything wrong with billionaires doing what they want with their money. This regulation is designed to make clubs live within their means and all I can see it doing is pushing the gap between top and middle, I.E Manchester Uniteds annual turnover is 3 times that of Spurs for example so I do not see this being fair to be honest. The principle is good but when your talking about individual ownership with individual ideas and wealth you can not have 'one rule applies to all' theory, measures do need to be taken in world football but IF a clubs balance sheet is cleared by an owner every year out of their own pocket then nothing is damaging the long term future of the club. These measures mention nothing on takeovers which I think is insane, if UEFA would focus on a real immediate problem of prospective owners not really buying clubs but taking loans out AGAINST the club and it's assets in order to fund the takeover. That is completely wrong and definitely should not be allowed and if it is a guideline percentage of the price should be acceptable to borrow such as 10 percent, that will stop 70 pct of takeovers across Europe instantly. I hope UEFA realise as well that half of players wages in this day and age are not paid directly from club holding to player with the 50 pct high earners tax, so that is practically impossible to determine exactly how much players are getting paid. Another measure would be UEFA set up a finance auditing department and any club who is registered with UEFA who's owners want to take out a loan against a club should get an approval rating like banks give clients/countries and that way there is a chance to stop clubs taking on toxic debt because of ridiculous owners.
 

Jak

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May 17, 2010
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definitely good. Stop clubs buying success and decreases chances of clubs going into administration etc
 

Joel`

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Competition laws in football? Football has always been big clubs vs little clubs, teams like Stoke can't afford Tevez without FFP so it would make no difference if the rich stayed rich and the middle clubs stayed in the middle with regular sustainable finances. If the billionaires in question all agree to annual sheet balancing and keep the club 100 pct debt free long term then it should not make a difference in my opinion, Chelsea and Manchester City are such extra ordinary cases that I don't believe you can govern them the same way you can Vilareal for example. Sheikh Mansours family wealth fund is estimated to be 580 BILLION pounds with his personal wealth rumoured to be 23 billion, I genuinely can not see anything wrong with billionaires doing what they want with their money. This regulation is designed to make clubs live within their means and all I can see it doing is pushing the gap between top and middle, I.E Manchester Uniteds annual turnover is 3 times that of Spurs for example so I do not see this being fair to be honest. The principle is good but when your talking about individual ownership with individual ideas and wealth you can not have 'one rule applies to all' theory, measures do need to be taken in world football but IF a clubs balance sheet is cleared by an owner every year out of their own pocket then nothing is damaging the long term future of the club. These measures mention nothing on takeovers which I think is insane, if UEFA would focus on a real immediate problem of prospective owners not really buying clubs but taking loans out AGAINST the club and it's assets in order to fund the takeover. That is completely wrong and definitely should not be allowed and if it is a guideline percentage of the price should be acceptable to borrow such as 10 percent, that will stop 70 pct of takeovers across Europe instantly. I hope UEFA realise as well that half of players wages in this day and age are not paid directly from club holding to player with the 50 pct high earners tax, so that is practically impossible to determine exactly how much players are getting paid. Another measure would be UEFA set up a finance auditing department and any club who is registered with UEFA who's owners want to take out a loan against a club should get an approval rating like banks give clients/countries and that way there is a chance to stop clubs taking on toxic debt because of ridiculous owners.
Firstly, go find out what a paragraph is.

Of course there will always be big and small clubs, the point is that clubs should become large through footballing means. Sports aren't made for the rich to succeed, they're made to reward personal triumph. Look at Moyes, working wonderful things on next to nothing with Everton and staying competitive. That's the spirit of football personified.

Although coming from the man who wanted the premier league to be a "brand", I see why you'd like billionaires to control the sport. But you're failing to see that entertaining football and money spent can not be equated. Manchester City - 3 CDM's at home rings a bell. Then look at Arsenal, one of the best footballing teams with the best balance sheet too. Even teams like Bolton, Wigan etc. all try to play the best football possible. The branding of the Premier League should revolve around the fantastic English spirit and determination, which again is personified this season with the number of surprising results we've had, the whole league staying tight the whole season. Under your proposals you'd have half a league of superstars bullying the weaker teams. People love our league because on any given day any team can beat another.

Your whole idea that "They have money, they're entitled to do what they like" is so horribly naive I can't believe I'm arguing with you. What if an owner gets bored with the club, and leaves it with wages that it can't afford to be paying. Why don't you actually consider the true long term effects rather than just simplifying it to "Who cares if they clear the debt each year".

Why is it not fair that United turnover three times more than Spurs? Under what principle? You consider it perfectly fine for a billionaire to spend £350 million in a couple of seasons, but when United earn their money through continued success and clever marketing you have a problem? My God, hypocrisy thy name is you.

The point is United were the first to become successful in the Premier League, took the money and continued to cycle it to get more success. That's the whole point of football, you get rewarded for success. You're saying it's unfair to be more successful, but it's fair that someone can attempt to buy success in a few seasons all because "It's their money". Do you consider it unfair that Microsoft and Apple make millions more than their nearest competition? They got there through being the best in their market.
 

curtis290

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Oct 9, 2010
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Good.

It's not meant to prevent clubs spending big. It's made to prevent clubs from spending outside their means, there's a huge difference.
And this is the very problem. On the one hand, I like the FFP since it prevent clubs from pursuing unsustainable financial practices.

On the other hand, I think it's evil and it only solidifies the status of the big clubs.

It is in this era of modern football with globalization and huge amounts of money never seen before in the game that a few big clubs can dominate without falling from their perches. Never before have clubs been able to spend obscene amounts of money to build super-star teams that no others can compete with. The big clubs today are untouchable because the unbelievable amounts of revenue they bring in, mostly from foreign glory-hunters. A few decades ago there were great clubs who fell out of prominence. That could not happen these days, at least in the Prem. The big clubs there make so much money, even if they have a bad season or two they can simply buy a bunch of great players to maintain their status. The game was never this bad before, and it's totally unbalanced. It has been near impossible for a decade now for a smaller club to qualify for the Champions League in the Prem especially (other big leagues too), much less win the title. Without this Champions League money they don't have the resources to compete at all. The exception is the Bundesliga, which is the model to follow.

What I like about the Bundesliga, and what I love about the NFL and NBA and NHL, is that there is parity. Parity is great for a league, and it's something that you wouldn't understand if you didn't live in America and follow American sports. Not only the league more exciting to watch, it's so much better for the fans, because every team has an even chance. Every team can eventually challenge the title. It's not like this in soccer, where you have two or three big clubs with tons of glory hunters that are the only ones that win. It's a ****** system that's bad for everyone.

FFP only reinforces this. In the modern era, the only way that smaller clubs can challenge the bigger ones is by leveraging themselves. It's risky, but it can pay off. I wouldn't like to see clubs do anything competely unsustainable, but I would like to see them be able to leverage themselves a little bit to challenge the bigger teams. And the biggest problem is that FFP does this within the European leagues. The teams from smaller leagues (who often times produce great talent, only to see it bought by the financial powerhouses in the Big 3, who have "great business models," aka making a bunch of money from foreign glory-hunters) won't be able to compete with the Real Madrid's, ManU's, Inter's, etc. because they can't afford to lose the European spot. So we're going to see teams from the Big 4 constantly win the Champions League, and the gap between them and the other European leagues will only increase.

I guess the nice thing is that the small clubs might be able to compete by leveraging themselves, since they won't be in a position yet to qualify for the CL, but that sort of defeats the whole purpose.

What really needs to change in football is dominance by the big clubs, dominance by the Big 4 (or 5, if you want to include France), and dominance by Europe. These are unique to the modern game and only enabled by their unprecedented spending power, which isn't fair and bad for the sport. Now I know you're going to say "it's capitalism and so it's totally fair" but sports are not supposed to be a business or dominated by business. Sports started off as grassroots, amateur activities, and though obviously professional sports can't be like that, the more they are dominated by business and money, the worse they become for the fans. These are supposed to be fair competitions and not dominated by money. How is it fair that the Dutch have to lose all of their best players to another country because its football league is wealthier? They used to get to keep their players, since you used to play in the country you were from no matter what, but now the rest of the world loses all of their best players while the wealthy leagues in England, Spain, Italy, and Germany takes them all. They need to fix this and add some sort of transfer or salary cap.

America is the most capitalistic, individualistic country in the world yet our sports system isn't nearly as capitalistic as soccer is. The beautiful game is the world's best sport but it just sickens me how much money has ruined it. It's a perfect microcosm of how neoliberalism and free-trade economic policy, while appearing to be entirely fair and consensual, only benefits the wealthy core at the expense of other nations.
 

Jamie.

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Firstly, go find out what a paragraph is.

Of course there will always be big and small clubs, the point is that clubs should become large through footballing means. Sports aren't made for the rich to succeed, they're made to reward personal triumph. Look at Moyes, working wonderful things on next to nothing with Everton and staying competitive. That's the spirit of football personified.

David Moyes works under conditions that are not his choice or the chairmans choice he works under them because no one has put a meaningful offer which would benefit the club long term not from choice. They are the most 'competitive' team in the league thats for sure. If you honestly think that FFP will make the small clubs bigger and the big clubs smaller so to speak then that my friend IS naive, it is not just clubs like Manchester United have large debt teams lower in the division have unsustainable debt.

Spirit of football is a different point, again you go on your crusade of sentimentalism about how the little clubs make the league what it is the spirit of the Premier League is that every team competes and plays at a high tempo with the ultimate level of commitment from each player. The problem you have is in the past 19 years as the Premier League worldwide brand has increased the stature of clubs like United, Arsenal, Liverpool and even Chelsea in recent years has monopolised the Asian African and European markets with merchandising and promotion. So the situation that this will help Everton, Spurs etc is wrong they will have to sell players to break even and comply to offload from the wage bill/and or help clear the debt creating an era of clubs suddenly becoming 'selling clubs'.



Although coming from the man who wanted the premier league to be a "brand", I see why you'd like billionaires to control the sport. But you're failing to see that entertaining football and money spent can not be equated. Manchester City - 3 CDM's at home rings a bell. Then look at Arsenal, one of the best footballing teams with the best balance sheet too. Even teams like Bolton, Wigan etc. all try to play the best football possible. The branding of the Premier League should revolve around the fantastic English spirit and determination, which again is personified this season with the number of surprising results we've had, the whole league staying tight the whole season. Under your proposals you'd have half a league of superstars bullying the weaker teams. People love our league because on any given day any team can beat another.

The Premier League has long past the time of English spirit, we have the most diverse league in the world and it is easily Englands most famous worldwide export with millions of viewers tuning in every weekend no matter who plays. It will be worst with FFP the gap between bottom and top, teams like Blackburn who are building HUGE wage bills and yet have extremely little revenue will be forced into the red. It is common sense that Spurs worldwide merchandising and sales for their turnover will be so inferior to United/Arsenal that it will be near on impossible for them to break the top four again without having the strength to buy freely without selling stars.

Your whole idea that "They have money, they're entitled to do what they like" is so horribly naive I can't believe I'm arguing with you. What if an owner gets bored with the club, and leaves it with wages that it can't afford to be paying. Why don't you actually consider the true long term effects rather than just simplifying it to "Who cares if they clear the debt each year".

True long term effects? Like Manchester City reaching their first final in 40 years+? Like Manchester City/Tottenham breaking the top four? You ask any average Joe fan if he wants mediocrity at his football club or success with stability and without the threat of debt then you would say yes it absolutely is a good thing.

Portsmouth was a situation where the previous owner sold the debt to another guy who could not pay it/could not be found so the club liquefied its assets immediately and went into administration for unpaid bills to creditors. I'm no psychic but when a guy like Mansour commits to a 1 billion pound sports complex in Manchester which he has committed his own money to then surely for the community that is a terrific thing? 'They have money they are entitled to do as they like'? They can be regulated and audited sufficiently without having these guidelines in place restricting the clubs ability to grow on the football pitch. Admittingly the expenses such as foreign investment in academies/centre's of excellence/stadium is excluded from the UEFA FFP audit so that is a plus.

Why is it not fair that United turnover three times more than Spurs? Under what principle? You consider it perfectly fine for a billionaire to spend £350 million in a couple of seasons, but when United earn their money through continued success and clever marketing you have a problem? My God, hypocrisy thy name is you.

The point is United were the first to become successful in the Premier League, took the money and continued to cycle it to get more success. That's the whole point of football, you get rewarded for success. You're saying it's unfair to be more successful, but it's fair that someone can attempt to buy success in a few seasons all because "It's their money". Do you consider it unfair that Microsoft and Apple make millions more than their nearest competition? They got there through being the best in their market.

So your statement is the rich stay rich and powerful whilst City and Spurs suffer the consequences of needing to pay big wages to attract big stars because they have not won 19 trophies+ in the past twenty years? It is too late to do what Wenger has done and be as successful, his marketing and promotion in Africa has practically monopolised that market along with the other big clubs so if City/Spurs are to make a big turnover they surely need a market to exploit?...Oh wait United/Arsenal/Chelsea got their first so they can never be as big in terms of self sustainable money power it is practically impossible. You can not punish owners/clubs/fans for wanting to be top and doing it by all means necessary so long as the owner is committed and it does not put the clubs future in jeopardy.

To summarise, regulations DO need to be in place in the Premier League to stop faux takeovers and prevent 'owners' coming in and jeopardising the clubs long term future but the middle ground is to monitor and audit not regulate the market so much that clubs will be forced to sell/hide asset trails in order to conduct what in essence is building a successful football team not running a mob in New York. I don't support any big team like you probably do but it is naive of you to say that it is right to limit City, Spurs etc ambitions in order to sustain the current state of United Chelsea Arsenal all at the top. For someone who seems to endorse and endulge the sentiment of the Prem being the most competitive in the world you sure want the edge to be taken away from the challengers. A factor not many have considered is Champs League etc all call for big squads to compete on all fronts yet FFP will force clubs to offload 'squad' players meaning surely the quality and competitiveness of the league mid season will falter?
 
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