Last week, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin revealed that Financial Fair Play regulations will be relaxed to help clubs counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He was unwilling to reveal any specifics but claimed that changes to FFP were coming. This is what Ceferin said at the time:
“The situation is extraordinary and we will not pretend that it’s not, so we will adapt the Financial Fair Play system. But the final decision in which direction we will do it is not brought yet, so yes we will adapt.
“We think it’s important to adapt it because the situation for the clubs is not easy, and we are all in the same boat here. But it’s again too soon to share details of how we will do it because the clubs are included in the conversation and the leagues are also included in the conversation.”
The loosening of FFP restrictions should give Newcastle’s new ownership group increased flexibility this summer. The club is already in good financial shape in large part due to Mike Ashley’s reluctance to invest.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was appointed as FIFA’s head of global development last year. He’s made some interesting comments about FFP, which Get French Football News has published.
Arsène Wenger seeking reforms to Financial Fair Play:
"Clubs that dominate Europe today are those that were built & made investments during an era where FFP did not exist. FFP prevents emerging clubs who want to invest from doing so. That is not normal." https://t.co/xi2zV5s9eH
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 20, 2020
Wenger hopes to see FFP reformed to allow for more investment from emerging clubs. If Newcastle are finally taken over by the Saudi-backed consortium, we would fit that profile.
This is what Wenger had to say:
“I am in favor of measures that reinforce checks around club management, over measures that restrict and limit. We should value quality management and encourage it. And I am in favor of opening things up to more investment, which FFP does not allow for.
“The clubs that dominate Europe today are those that were built and made investments during an era where FFP did not exist. FFP prevents emerging clubs who want to invest from doing so. That is not normal.”
“These rules have fixed a hierarchy, the big historical clubs are bigger and bigger and, obviously, they are all fighting for FFP rules to be scrupulously applied to the others so that competitors can’t come through.
“Controlling club management rigorously yes, verifying where funds are coming from, yes, but we need to encourage people to invest in football. FFP must become more flexible and facilitate investment.”
Wenger makes a good point that clubs trying to invest after FFP was adopted are at a disadvantage to the clubs that have already built themselves into powerhouses before the restrictions were in place.
With the coronavirus have a dire impact on club finances, now would be an optimal time to revamp Financial Fair Play regulations. Football is going to want as much money invested as possible after the economic devastation this pandemic has wrought.
While this could benefit Newcastle under our prospective new owners, we would still like to see some restrictions and limits in place. What happened with Manchester City and PSG are ultimately not in the best interest of the game.
Newcastle have been under their own self-enforced limits and restrictions known as the Mike Ashley era. Under our potential new owners, the club will finally be unleashed to strive to reach its potential.
Just be free from the constraints of Ashley will allow this club the opportunity to prosper without having to throw ridiculous money around.
We just need the owners to match the realistic ambition of the fans, and that is a club that is progressing and not mired in self-inflicted stagnation.