The madness started when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in the summer of 2003, and he has spent £1B since then in trying to make Chelsea into a top team – and yes – he has done that and they finally won the Champions League last season, and they have won the Premier League three times – well that didn’t cost much did it? 😀
Michel Platini – UEFA President – clamping down on big spenders – good
And the same thing has happened at Manchester City, when a short four years ago Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed (or to be more accurate – Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment) bought the club, and Manchester City are the reigning Premier League Champions and have spent north of £700M since the Sheikh took over – and maybe even more than that.
We should point out that the Financial Fair Play Rules, which are being phased in over a number of years, say that clubs must balance their books and can only spend what the club brings in (in revenue or turnover), and as an example in the financial year ended in June, 2011 – Manchester City lost £197M, and Chelsea were in the red too – as just two examples.
And now we have QPR in this country and PSG in France going along the same path – and last season QPR’s wage bill was in excess of their revenues, and they have brought in 25 players in the last year – so that doesn’t bode well if they are to balance their books.
Whether fans like it or not, football is now a big global business, and has to be run like one, and it’s ridiculous that Billionaires have been allowed to come in and buy their teams, and in essence they have simply bought their trophies too.
When UEFA President Michel Platini introduced the Financial Fair Play Rules a few years ago, he said any club that didn’t meet the new requirements would be banned from participating in Europe, and with most clubs (Newcastle are not one of them) ignoring the rules, we were hoping Platini would keep his word.
Michel has today come out and revealed he has given 27 European clubs a deadline to put their financial houses in order:
“They were told to sort their finances out before June 30th. Then they had until July 15th to discuss any problems.” “The next check on September 30th will be vital. For clubs who can’t follow the rules of the Financial Fair Play system, it is over and out of Europe.” “We are also protecting clubs who have sold players and struggle to receive payment. A number of clubs have had to chase their money for years.”
Some managers don’t know (and don’t want to know) about any financial restrictions and Roberto Mancini is one of them, and he has complained (again and again) that his club have not brought in enough new players or spent enough money this summer.
When you are £197M in debt in the last financial year for which figures have been released, what does he expect?
And it may be that some managers will need to take some lessons in business finance, to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees, and what it means to balance the books in any business.
We’re pleased Michel Platini is coming down on those clubs who keep spending money like it’s going out of style.
On a positive note, Newcastle United are in a good financial postilion, and have a long term viable business plan, but as we have seen that means we will not pay out outlandish transfer fees for the players that arrive on Tyneside.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org