Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Will UEFA follow through with Financial Fair Play (FFP)?

After seeing another transfer window with vast sums of money being spent, £485M in the Premier League alone, I've asked myself will UEFA actually follow through on financial fair play.

For those of you not entirely sure what this rule means, i'll sum it up briefly. This rule is designed to stop clubs living off 'sugar daddies' i.e. the Man City, Chelsea and now clubs like PSG and Malaga. In essence trying to prevent clubs from 'buying' titles, thus making competitions more competitive. The rules are as follows:

- Three years to 'break-even'

- Maximum losses of £39.5M permitted before 2014

- Permitted loss to fall to £26.3M from 2014

- Clubs face expulsion from European Competitions from the 2014-15 season onward

- Investment in club infrastructure (Stadium improvements, new training grounds, youth facilities, etc) do not count as expenditure.

So will UEFA exclude clubs from Europe?

Given that a large proportion of TV revenue they receive, is due to the fact that the fans want to see the big names face each other. Competitions without these big names are going to be less financially lucrative, meaning less money for UEFA and a decrease in the competitions prestige. I can't see UEFA letting this happen, if anything I can see a 'European Super League' being created, should UEFA follow through with their promises.

Will this rule make competitions more competitive?

The gap between clubs challenging for European honours and the rest is huge, the only way clubs are able to break the mould is if they heavily invest (Man City). So this rule is just going to make the gap grow wider after each year, meaning the same clubs will compete each year. 

Some clubs only survive with the money gained from competing in Europe, if these clubs miss out then the results would be financially crippling, given that they won't be allowed in Europe with poor finances. This is going to result in clubs going out of business, which is always a sad sight!!

I believe the rule will be beneficial to those clubs that are prudent with their spending, Arsenal are the main team in this regard. Football is getting ruined by the amount of money being pumped into the game and if this rule can alleviate some of this, then it might also save the most watched game in the world. 

I'd like to know your opinion on this matter and what your thoughts are on the possible outcomes of this new rule.