Financial Un-Fair Play

The footballing aristocracy breathed a sigh of relief when Michel Platini outlined the Financial Fair Play rules for UEFA in these last few years, they were relieved because amongst the pantheon of established footballing giants, other, ‘small’ clubs managed to poke their heads in, and decided they liked it. Manchester City and Tottenham began to interfere with the natural order of things, and the truly aristocratic trio of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, still had not forgotten the meteoric rise of Chelsea into their world. 

The rise of so many ‘small’ clubs alarmed the reactionary board of UEFA and so they decided to make the entire financial aspect of european football ‘fairer’, by decreeing that any club may only spend what it earns as revenue. This means that Real Madrid will have over 300 million pounds to do what it likes with, whilst Tottenham and Manchester City, have about 120 million pounds to spend. Which is not fair, which ever way you look at it. I am not even mentioning clubs which have not got access to large amounts of revenue of any kind, such as Wigan, because these new rules mean that clubs like this will be totally priced out in every aspect of the transfer market, which to me means that the club cannot be benefitted by any donations, or takeovers, so is stuck, languishing at the bottom of the premier league, and full credit to Wigan for staying there. 

 Commercial revenue stems from success on the pitch, and this in turn stems from having good enough players on the pitch. for clubs such as Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, it is easy to attract world class players to their clubs, because of their extensive histories of success and glory. But take a different club that has ambitions to become great, but cannot attract world class players purely because of their history, and they also cannot attract players because of the promise of high wages, ambitious signings, and future silverware. They could not promise these things, because their revenue would be too low. The lack of world class players would then mean that there would be less success on the pitch, which would mean that there would be no opportunities to increase revenue. so the club would be imprisoned within the shackles of financial fair play rules.

These rules also mean that UEFA’s darlings, Barcelona, are able to keep their wage bill amongst the highest in the sporting world, as well as price out ‘smaller’ clubs in the transfer market, but as long as they keep making so much commercial revenue, then this is fair? No, it is not. What UEFA realises is that with ambitious owners, a club can become powerful, and big, and even challenge the mighty few established clubs, and they cannot have this, so they impose these farcical ‘Fair Play’ rules, to put everybody back into their place.

All of this means that Platini can sit back down into his big leather chair, after a hard day of crushing the dreams of ‘small’ clubs, and their loyal fans, and be satisfied that the old world order has been restored. And cannot be disturbed again.

Sam Lister

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