Top European Clubs Have Funds Withheld – Platini Gets Serious

It looks like the Financial Fair Play rules that are being introduced by UEFA President Michel Platini do have some teeth, with the news that 23 clubs have had their funds from last season’s European competitions withheld, due to their financial siutation.

Michel Platini – there’s no going back

When Michel first talked about Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules a few years ago, he always said that if clubs didn’t balance their books, and only spend what they bring in with their revenues, then they would be barred from European competition.

And it seems the withholding of funds from last season is the first step by UEFA in clamping down on clubs who keep spending money like it’s going out of style, and often have wage bills which are even bigger than their revenues.

And it seems that some clubs now don’t have the money to pay their players, or to pay other clubs for players they have purchased, and Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Fenerbahce and Sporting Lisbon are some of the clubs who have until September 30th to settle those types of  debts.

If they don’t do that, they will be hauled in front of UEFA to explain what they are doing – which seems just fine with us.

Atletico are the current Europa League champions so Michel Platini is not holding back on who he goes after – and that’s very good to see.

Clubs in England that are probably going to get a call from UEFA include Manchester City, Chelsea and QPR,  simply because they are nowhere near balancing their books, but also show no signs of cutting back on their expenditures.

And as an example of that, City lost £197M in their last financial year for which records are available – the 2010-2011 season.

FFP is a long overdue control on clubs’ spending, and between 2011 and 2014, no club is allowed to lose more than £39.5M in one financial year, and between 2014 and 2017 that figure is reduced to £26.3M,  and after that clubs are expected to break even – so it’s not as if clubs haven’t had ample warning or time to get their books in order.

Some clubs have not taken Platini’s initiative seriously, and Qatari-backed Paris Saint Germain are another club who are spending money like it grows on trees, and at some point they will need to be confronted on what they are doing.

Last summer PSG spent £120M on players like Zlatan Ibrahmovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi and Russian club Zenit St Petersburg have spent around £75M on just two players in the summer – Hulk and Axel Witsel.

As a reminder this is what Platini told Gazzetta dello Sport a couple of weeks ago:

“These rules were unanimously approved by all clubs, politicians, judges and the European Union. There’s no going back from here on.” “FFP is a hard rule for any team, regardless of whether we’re talking about PSG, Juventus, or any other team.”

“I have spoken with directors from all clubs. They have all stressed that they would follow the new rules. It seems that some worry a bit more about FFP than others, though.”

“Financial Fair Play does not stop clubs from buying players. Clubs can still spend as much as they want as long as their budget accounts for it.”

There have also been discussions in UEFA of high sponsorship deals such as exists for the Etihad Stadium with Manchester City, who are getting £400M over 10 years from Etihad Airways for the naming rights.

Etihad are owned by the Abu Dhabi government and the Manchester City main owner, Sheikh Mansour, is a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, and there certainly seems to be an unfair link there.

And £40M per season is hardly the fair market value of such a deal – it’s a sweetheart deal in other words, and we’re surprised UEFA haven’t yet done something about this.

As an example of other naming rights deals which currently exist, Arsenal struck one with Emirates Airlines back in 2004, to name their then new stadium The Emirates Stadium, and those naming rights are worth just £2.8M per year for 15 years – so you see what we mean.

We have no idea what Mike Ashley and Sports Direct s paying Newcastle United for the naming rights to St. James’ Park – and it would be nice to know what that figure is – with Newcastle hoping to get up to £10M a year off the naming rights, but no company seems to interested, with the fans dead against it.

But the good news is Michel Platini is putting teeth into the FFP rules for European clubs, and that’s got to be good news for Newcastle, since we only lost £3.9M in the financial year 2010-2011.

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49 comments so far

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #1

    I really hope this works. Mike does run a tight ship, doesn’t he, which all things being equal surely put us ahead of the game if this is effective. Kudos to Platini.

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #2

    jawball, MA knows the score, this fair play rules situation could keep us ahead of the game for years to come.

    this is were business acumen comes in to it and we have a great formula at this club for getting terrific players at great prices. and MA love him or loathe him is the master at running and growing a business of any kind.

    happy days ahead at the toon, i really believe that.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #3

    Yeah, I’ve been having a bit of a go at Ashley regarding the lack of quality signings being potentially a very poor business decision. The irony of that hasn’t escaped me considering my own feeble business sense and the remarkable way the club has been turned around in recent years. But yeah, even I can see Newcastle are big enough and well run enough to take immediate advantage if one is to be had.

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #4

    I am still not all that confident about the FFP rules like. Just imagine if Man United stopped winning trophys and qualifying for Europe, with their £500 million debt they would be screwed. I think that there will be ways around it like when Man City got that ludacris sponsorship deal to reduce their losses. Why wasn’t anything done about that ?

  • valle

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #5

    If it would be so easy to work around these rules as some people think, UEFA would be the laughing stock of world football… I somehow doubt Platini would accept that. Man City will have some explaining to do, dont worry about that. And if you look on their spending this season compared to previous seasons, as well as their eagerness to move on fringe players you can sense that they know it as well and are starting to do something about it.

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #6

    Big papa, these mega money clubs put deals in to place with huge sponsorship deals way above any normality, they feel they have found loopholes but it is going to get more stringent, and if they pull a flanker and get caught they may well get taken out of european compititon.

    that is the risk they may want to take but one of these giants are going to get a kick up the backside and it will shake everything up.

    We will be sitting pretty in in my opinion and just keep on moving forward as we have done for the last 3 seasons . a force for years to come, as i have said i genuinly believe that.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #7

    Yes, then again Platini does seem pretty dogged about it all and certainly a force to be reckoned with. He comes across as both a realist and a purist.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #8

    65 out of 111
    Not wanting to be overly previous but if the quotes are accurate as in
    “These rules were unanimously approved by all clubs, politicians, judges and the European Union. There’s no going back from here on.”

    I think it kinda knocks the claims of so many on here about the ffp rules being toothless and it will never/can never happen the big clubs will just break away, into a cocked hat as it were.

    Think about it this plays into the hands of the big clubs by stopping any other clubs from being financed from outside and crashing into the big money circles.

    It means that the “big “ clubs and by that I mean the clubs with the largest active fan bases should benefit in the long term.

    Biggest fan base = biggest revenue =biggest spend.

    If it is agreed throughout the European Union at all levels then that should just about make it impossible or at the very least make it very very difficult to form a breakaway league.

    Manure will be happy with it will put them above their “noisy neighbours” on spending again.

    Which ultimately means we also should be well placed to take advantage of our fan base spending power, although this has proven in the past to be no guarantee of success. 🙂

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #9

    don’t know where the 65 out of 111 come from 😆

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #10

    Cupid, very true son, we have got a magic formula as well were we bring these players in who have been brilliantly scouted and just increase in value, we have this on our side.

    football business will change forever, at it will become totally necessary to run a tight ship, we are ahead of the game, we have a system in place that can move us forward every season.

    The futures bright the futures BLACK and WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dave 1961

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #11

    all the prize money is teams that were in the Europa league, and teams that owed other clubs or tax authority money. a good start but a mile away from a fair play system, when Barcelona & Madrid have not payed any tax since the back end of the 80s & it seams they have not fallen foul as yet.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #12

    I suspect UEFA, being the all powerful entity that it is, would take a quick and perverse pleasure in flexing it’s muscles and bringing the big clubs into line.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #13

    dave 1961 @ # 11

    One step at a time, first you show willing by stopping money to some 23 clubs until they get their payments paid.

    This signals the start of the bite, any clubs that fail to react will have no excuse after this.

    And as I have said I feel it is in the best interests of the “big” clubs to comply with the ffp, it strengthens their position even further as no sugar daddy can come in and buy his plaything silverware and titles.

  • toonLYF

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #14

    somewhat dreading this blog if we get beat by Everton. I’m guessing that will mean we won’t finish above them and will be surrendered to a bottom half finish after just 4 games.

    I was shocked at some of the utter rubbish on here after that Villa match; gladly the blog seems to have neutralised itself out a little bit but i do notice a few regular posters missing.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #15

    By all accounts the ffp rules are quite clearly marked out as to how they will be implemented and this appears to be stage one.

    To my understanding these clubs have club taxes and inter club debts that need paying.

    So the smaller infringements are first letting everyone know the ball is rolling.

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #16

    The FPR will start to take shape big time in the next few years, by then we will be in terrific shape and able to compete with all most every club for players with ready cash.

    We may see the odd player who we like leaving in coming seasons but that is going to be the way of the world for every club, it cant just be about buying, i get that fully.

  • Szarka

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Its still not hard enough. Only Atletico and Sporting as big clubs in there, and even atletico isnt the real big guns, just trying to get there.
    The likes of PSG Milan Inter MU MCity etc… need to be punished, not weak little Eastern europian clubs plus 2 clubs from the west, with little power in Fifa or UEFA.

  • dave 1961

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #18

    if applied “to the letter of the law” we will have no Spanish clubs in Europe i just cant see it working but obviously hope it does as its just another form of cheating.

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #19

    toonLFY, its a tough game against Everton who will be smarting from their defeat at west brom for sure, and we have a few injuries also, but the club has faith in their replacements, we may have tiote back which is great for us.
    believe me Everton will be very wary of benny and cabaye and demba and pappis and tiote for sure we have match winners and game changers in our team.

    It may well be tough but Everton will definatly not be taking the toon lightly.

  • shanghai fan

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #20

    If funds are being withheld, this is massive step forward. It shows that UEFA are matching actions with words. It is also a very large part of club’s revenue, so they will def be sitting up and having to take note.

    @ 4 – Man City secured a ludacris sponsorship deal – wow that rapper is making bucks… 😉

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #21

    There is a window of opportunity for teams to maximise expenditure before the real impact of FFP is implemented. This is precisely what the big 3 Premiership clubs are doing. There will be no retroaction on the part of FIFA. The current action referred to I would suggest is merely to show that FIFA have some teeth. Don’t hold your breathe for any meaningful financial changes anytime soon which will change the scale of spending by the big 3.

  • check the toastie

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #22

    Hope this Financial Fair Play stuff works unless a rich Arab buys our club.

    Seriously think it just gives tight owners an excuse not to spend, its almost like Ashley dreamt it up.

    UEFA are pissing against the wind, big clubs will get round the rules, boring topic really.

  • check the toastie

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #23

    Its about time we all discussed whether Debuchy or Douglas is going to sign in January…………….

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #24

    Ian that is correct i do understand that i its why chelsea spent 85 million and new at this moment that they could get away with it.

    i am looking ahead next season and there after we are going to be really handily placed in the transfer windows for starters.

    I am looking to the near and distant future you will see all the big money boys starting to calm and not so many oilgarks etc with money taking clubs over.

    football is changing and we can be at the forefront, as i have mentioned man utd have massive revenue to cope with debt and maybe a few others but we can certainly be right up there with everyone in the coming and future seasons.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #25

    Szarka @ # 17

    Yep agreed but to me this makes sense, sometimes it makes sense to go for the big name first but in this case I think all that will happen is the big clubs will fire up their legal eagles and everything will get bogged down hence the staged intro to the rules.

    On the other hand to take on the smaller clubs first they are easier to handle and it lets the bigger clubs know the changes are being rolled out, by the time it comes to taking on the big clubs hopefully they will be more inclined to toe the line and get the house in order.

    I understand this is a simplistic view of things but it’s more often the case that simple works.

    dave 1961 @ # 18

    Again I agree but the slow staged intro of rules generally meets less resistance, like in most things time will tell.

  • beefman13

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #26

    check for mr its anything but boring beacuse we are best placed to take advantage and MA new all about this, the huge money clubs may try and bend rules as we all know, but if they take it to far they will get the bullet.

    fifa/uefa are not daft and have some big hitters, the EU is on the FPR side as well, top judges and clubs all agreed to it.

    MA runs this football club as a business and all football clubs will have to come in to line that way, and in every business you spend as little as you have to to get a top return and i feel we do this without doubt.

    For me its the most interesting subject to debate, its the one that puts us firmly on the map.

    ps we have simpson anita perch tavernier who can all play right back, and perch tavernier williamson, good. who can cover centre half, fergie santon perch anita who can all cover left back most there did not let us down last season any of them to be fair.

    This club is going forward. Anita for me is maybe the best deal in the whole of the transfer window.

  • dave 1961

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #27

    just watched the Hillsborough apology on the bbc website it was as shocking as predicted especially the police.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #28

    most people do not know that the English FA has indicated they will not comply with UEFA’s FFP but instead will implement their own with salary cap and that’s about it.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #29

    Yes the rules on buying players is still relaxed at the moment but think about it.

    We have a player that is holding back our recruitment, Xsico on his £50 grand? A week is hindering our recruitment.

    So what will these players who are still being bought for big bucks and on big wages do to the future recruitment of the big spenders?

    I think you will find it will hinder them just as much.

    I honestly think that the future of all clubs will lie more with the manager they appoint than with the players they buy even more so than now.

  • Rozzy

    Sep 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #30

    Don’t think this is going to work unless it’s a FIFA ruling. Your going to get the top players moving to MLS and other leagues around the world for bigger wages.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #31

    ilovetoon8788 @ # 28

    Anywhere where there is any reading on this?

    As in my opinion this would leave English teams out of European football altogether.

    To have European football clubs with the exception of English clubs all using the same ffp rules means all UEFA have to do is say “you don’t play by our financial rules you don’t play”

    With that I find it difficult to see how the EFA can stand alone

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #32

    Rozzy @ # 30

    I see what you are saying but that in itself would prove the ffp rules were working.

    And I honestly do not think that outside the MLS there are many leagues out there that will pay big money and the MSL have the salary cap in place so they can only pay one or two big money wages per team and the rest are blue collar.

  • toonhorse

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #33

    should be interesting, check this list out!!

    Ranking Club Debt
    1. Manchester United £716m
    2. Chelsea (Limited) £701m
    3. Valencia C.F £501m
    4. Liverpool £351m
    5. Real Madrid £296m
    6. FC Barcelona £273m
    7. AS Roma £271m
    8. Schalke 04 £234m
    9. Arsenal £203m
    10. Fulham £198m

    not sure how up 2 date it is like, but if city are involved to then champions league places start from 6th lol

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #34

    From last thread ….Ibiza, I think our start hasnt been good. Spurs are not doing well in any way shape or form, so 3 points off them isnt amazing, although welcome. I understand we were poor v Atromitos at home, and we were poor v Villa, who themselves have had a shocking start. Outclassed by Chelsea. Did well second half, but had they needed more goals, they would have got them. We didnt buy two established players which was a real error, and our defence looks shaky, our strikers not combining and our manager seems set on the 4-4-2 that I have said all along he would, and its not functioning so far. So much depends on Cabaye and Tiote, so lets hope they improve and keep fit….

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #35

    @cupiddstunt // Sep 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    as requested. i told you its more complicated then that. i don’t see any form of financial fair play being implemented. money talks in this world and as long as you show the money screw fair plays. the world is like this. we got to live with it.
    No English clubs are subject to the investigation. Premier League clubs have already debated the implementation of their own version of FFP, proposing to effectively introduce a cap on wages.

    Talks to determine the format are scheduled for this month, and the source added: “It will be up to the clubs to decide how it will work and the sanctions that should be imposed. English football has seven clubs in Europe, but the Premier League clubs want their own FFP rules, and that looks like happening.”

    One Premier League chief executive told ESPN clubs were not prepared to allow players and agents to seek huge wage hikes on the back of the billions coming into the game with a big increase in TV cash next season.

    At a meeting last Thursday, chairmen and chief executives agreed to move forward the plan to introduce a form of salary capping. Clubs have been divided into North and South groups to discuss the best ways to introduce restrictions on the amount spent on players, mangers and coaching staff.

    The chief executive said: “We all agreed that we have a windfall coming into the game in a year’s time, and we don’t want to give it away to one part of the industry. The talent is most important – we also all agree on that – but that doesn’t mean there can’t be any limits on how much is spent on players and their agents.

    “We need a formula on how to make it work – to find a middle ground, a sensible solution. There is still some way to go – West Ham would like to cap salaries, while Manchester City wouldn’t – but most clubs are agreed that there needs to be a common sense restriction on spending on players’ salaries.”

  • dave 1961

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #36

    those figures are for 2010 Barcelona got the Qatar money that saved them from going bust as they did not have the money to pay wages.

  • BeeGuy

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #37

    Being a Toon fan, I’ll wait for the other shoe to drop which will be the one where we get unfairly screwed by some absurd interpretation of FFP rules.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #38

    Munster….I think it’s a two part question and therefore answer.

    Results – Have been okay. The one result I feel we could be unhappy about is Villa, but these things do happen. We got a result at Spurs, who as you say aren’t firing, but neither are we and we took the points. Would have been nice to get something, but can’t say I expected anything.

    Performances – Not a good start. Plain and simple really. My point was though, that all teams go through patches of not playing well, however, we’ve managed to keep the results to an okay level – so no real need to panic. We could of played badly in the past and walked away with no points.

    I’m really not saying it’s been a great start, but somewhere around okay seems reasonable.

    The other points you make aren’t really to do with whether out start has been good or bad imo.

    Strikers not combining well and 4-4-2 for me are directly related (although there will likely be other factors also). For me, we should be playing 5 in midfield and one striker. It seems logical, but I am not the be all and end all when it comes to tactics, as I’m sure you’re aware 🙂

    I really hope we start mixing things up a bit more or should I say Pardew starts to. It doesn’t seem to be our strongest plan, so why are we using it? Hopefully not just to accommodate Ba and Cisse in central roles.

    So far, the standout player has been Arfa. Guti has done his business as usual, Bigi has looked promising and shown us signs of what’s to come. Most of the other players have been really hit and miss, surely it’s only a matter of time until that get’s sorted.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #39

    ilovetoon8788 @ # 35

    Thanks for that but still would like to know where it comes from so I can follow its progress


    Sep 12, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #40

    Look ahead 3 years or less

    I can see the clubs that are Ignoring the financial Rules set out by uefa , breaking away and forming a new European Competition.

    Can you imagine Barca, Man Utd, Man City, Arse, and Inter Milan , all clubs that are heavily in debt and very unlikely to be free of that debt by the time these rules kick in , abiding by the rules ?

    Not likely ..They will form their own competition and our FA and Premier league will not have the balls to do anything about ..same with the Spanish Fa …for risk of loosing the Clubs to a breakaway league

    And if our so called top clubs do breakaway then the Champions league and the Europa League become tin pot tournaments.


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