There are new financial rules that Premier League clubs have accepted last night, and will subject the 20 clubs to new financial constraints – and it’s about time.
These new rules will have immediate affect and will leave Liverpool, Portsmouth and West Ham United under pressure to satisfy their auditors if they are to avoid PL intervention.
Richard Scudamore, the League’s CEO, announced the 20 member clubs had voted in favour of a new regulation that will allow the league to intervene and in some extreme cases, impose a transfer embargo if it believes the PL club is in danger of falling into administration.
In addition the 20 clubs ratified the introduction of a quota system governing the use of “home-grown” players,
Scudamore said the PL could intervene “when the auditors have a question about whether the club is sustainable”.
Portsmouth and West Ham over the past 12 months have had financial difficulties, and Liverpool will also be under scrutiny after their auditor, KPMG, raised concerns about the club’s financial prospects in their most recent accounts. However they have since negotiated a new massive loan, under improved terms, which makes things look somewhat better financially for the Merseyside club.
“As of now, all our 20 clubs will have to abide by the same financial criteria,”“They have to submit accounts annually and, they will have to file accounts into the league at the same time.”
“If there are any qualifications or comments in those accounts, then the board of the Premier League will be applying a test that is designed to make sure you can keep going as a football club.”
“If the board believes the club is at risk of not being able to meet its fixtures or its obligations to its creditors or to the Premier League’s contracts and partners, then it has to step in and agree a budget for the running of that club.”
“And it has the ability to embargo any transfers or to stop clubs renegotiating upwards any player contracts and remuneration. You can’t add to the most significant of your cost bases, which is your talent base.”
“Our view is the current owners are just the current custodians and the clubs will be there before them and long after them. It’s absolutely right that the clubs are sustainable and that they are able to meet their obligations to fans and the competition.”
“Portsmouth got through to the end of last season and, had our rules applied through the summer, there may have been a case for us in intervening. Touch wood, we have never had a club in the Premier League go into administration yet and we don’t want one.”
The changes are likely to be welcomed by Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, and Michel Platini, the UEFA President, who have continually expressed concerns at the lack of financial regulations applied to Premier League clubs, and the absurdly high overdrafts of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United. These two clubs are not businesses, but are simply mortgaged to the hilt of their value.
The PL next season will also introduce a new quota system, that will force clubs to register 25-man squads containing at least eight “home-grown” players.
“Home-grown” is a player who has trained for three years under the age of 21 by a club within the English and Welsh professional system. So it doesn’t have to be a British player but someone like Tamas Kadar who joined the Newcastle club 20 months ago, and Haris Vuckic would qualify by the time he is 21 in 4 years time. Indeed the vast majority of our Youth squad will qualify under these new rules.
It means that most of Arsenal’s players will be “home grown” since current captain Cesc Fabregas, as just one example, joined Arsenal at just 16 from Barcelona. So “home” in this case means the football club – and not that they are English or Welsh players.
This has been put into effect to have clubs strengthen their youth systems, which is exactly what Newcastle have embarked on since January of last year, when Chris Mort introduced the new world-wide scouting system for young talent.
And it has already paid some huge dividends with players like Nile Ranger, Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson and Haris Vuckic to name but a few.
Once the new ownership is worked out on Tyneside, and we have to say we hear new stories every day about two American bids, and Barry Moat about to buy the club, but w have chosen to ignore these and concentrate on the more important stuff of how great the lads are doing under Chris Hughton so far this season – and long may it continue.
Surely we will further enhance the Youth System, in addition to our world-wide overall scouting system, so we can find those new “cheap” players like Seb Bassong, who by the way is already looking the part at Tottenham, and has been highly praised by Harry Redknapp.
What a player we lost there due to our relegation. 🙁
“This rule will clearly encourage youth development and the promotion of young players, but — and we don’t apologize for this — it goes nowhere near a nationality test because we don’t believe that is right.”
To be fair, getting the financial books in order and putting together a world-class Youth System is the direction Newcastle have been on over the last 20 months, and once we get a new sane owner in – these directions can again be set in motion.
Things are starting to look brighter at Newcastle these days – but with 120 league points (40 games) still to be played for, there is an awful long way to go this season. We think 90 points will get us automatic promotion next May.
But 3 points at Blackpool tomorrow night will be very nice, thank you very much, and further help the growing optimism we sense on the Tyne.