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UEFA to finally tie the hands of all but the biggest teams


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Days after giving Eduardo and cheaters all over the world the thumbs up to dive with abandon, UEFA yesterday turned their attentions to protecting the interests of the biggest clubs in Europe.

The UEFA official site proudly proclaims that their executive committee (or 'EXCO') has approved the 'Financial Fair Play'(sic) concept.

In amongst all the painfully obvious and thinly veiled rhetoric of 'financial fairness', 'helping clubs' and 'long-term health' is the basic underlying premise that the bigger clubs can spend big and the smaller clubs can spend small.

UEFA try to vindicate this abomination by saying that the concept has received unanimous support from bodies such as the European Club Association Board (ECA). Well you don't say!! The ECA in case you didn't know, is the replacement for the notoriously self-serving G-14. It is a board made up of the biggest clubs in Europe. Teams who have it very much in their interests to protect their ability to participate in top European competition and buy the best players at the highest prices. If these teams can somehow 'unanimously support' a concept that will financially tie the hands of non-ECA clubs that have less turnover in their respective associations, don't you think they are going to do it? Damn right they are. There's a lot of moolah in the Champions League y'know! It is ridiculous to think the ECA would ever have had a problem with such a win-win proposition.

If this goes ahead it will irrevocably tip the balance of power in favour of the haves over the have-nots. Way more than at present. You may say that it's already like that, but at least at present the smaller teams are allowed to speculate to accumulate. They are allowed to take a calculated gamble and try to bridge the gap; make short-term losses for mid to long term gains. They can show ambition and put plans in place to try and attain Champions League status.

Under this new concept that would all be gone. In a typically euphamistic but barbed turn of phrase, UEFA have said that clubs would be "obliged to honour their commitments at all times". These are commitments to salary, to transfer spending and to levels of debt. All of this in line with turnover. Significant turnover which you will only have if you are in the Champions League, a competition you can only GET to by spending big, which you're not allowed to do unless ..... you get the drift.

The days of an Ipswich, Portsmouth, Reading or a Wigan getting to the Europa League would be all but gone and, closer to home, the chances of an Aston Villa or an Everton catching the likes of Arsenal or Liverpool for the coveted Champions League spot would be made hugely more difficult than it already is.

UEFA will no doubt go on a charm offensive now with this concept and as all good propoganda machines do, they will dazzle us with re-assuring slogans about health, equality, fairness and a sense of accomplishment. We'll be told everything will be better. One thing's for sure, it'll certainly all be a hell of a lot more predictable.

The scary thing is that when the governing body is getting the OK from the biggest clubs in Europe to protect the interests of the biggest clubs in Europe; and all the while UEFA want a big glamourous Champions League with the biggest teams involved, then there's not much the rest of us can do about it but sit back and watch in horror as Platini and his cronies implement this hair-brained and repulsive scheme of financially capping each club at their own unique ceiling.

Come back Lennart Johansson, all is forgiven.

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The rich get richer and the poor get poorer then!

I watch almost every football match that is available that is live on tv. I am sure I am not alone in doing this, simply because fans of football will mostly watch as many games as possible, regardless of who is playing. Maybe we are the answer to this monopoly by the big clubs? perhaps every fan, whose team isn't involved in the Champions League or Europa League, should simply avoid watching any of the games shown. The viewing figures would be hit severely and maybe then the powers-that-be might take notice.

Whether, or not, a big tv turn-off would make much of a difference is debatable. However, it seems that whilst we keep viewing and feeding the tv companies with increased viewing figures, the big clubs will only keep getting bigger!

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This is something I have feared for a long time. I also think it's a direct response to what's happened at Man City as the cartel fear losing their places to a rich investor, but that won't happen if they can apply financial restraints on their poorer cousins.

This should be looked into by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, or whoever the European equivalent is.

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Brian you're completely wrong on this one. Teams can still spend large sums of money BUT wages need to be paid from actual revenues. The point of the new rules are to have clubs as sustainable if a rich owner cuts off the money. So if a team gets 100 mil from an owner to spend on players that is allowed, as long as their revenues can pay the wages.

I think it's a good idea, it means clubs earnings have to service their debt too. It'll benefit Villa, we are a well run club and because of that we'll stop more City type takeovers jumping ahead of us in the league.

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Brian you're completely wrong on this one. Teams can still spend large sums of money BUT wages need to be paid from actual revenues. The point of the new rules are to have clubs as sustainable if a rich owner cuts off the money. So if a team gets 100 mil from an owner to spend on players that is allowed, as long as their revenues can pay the wages.

I think it's a good idea, it means clubs earnings have to service their debt too. It'll benefit Villa, we are a well run club and because of that we'll stop more City type takeovers jumping ahead of us in the league.

Totally agree with Conor here, not sure why so many people on this site don't see that this is designed to protect football in general. I don't think it'll adversely affect Villa at all - it's not like we can compete financially as it is, is it?

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Brian you're completely wrong on this one. Teams can still spend large sums of money BUT wages need to be paid from actual revenues. The point of the new rules are to have clubs as sustainable if a rich owner cuts off the money. So if a team gets 100 mil from an owner to spend on players that is allowed, as long as their revenues can pay the wages.

I think it's a good idea, it means clubs earnings have to service their debt too. It'll benefit Villa, we are a well run club and because of that we'll stop more City type takeovers jumping ahead of us in the league.

Firstly let me say that I don't claim to understand the proposals completely, BUT:

I think you are wrong, CVB. This proposal is about 15 years too late. The Champion's League has become a cartel. Our revenues are now miniscule compared to, say, Man Utd's. Man Utd's shirt sponsorship cost more than our CLUB ffs.

So that means we will simply not be able to compete at the top, ever, if these proposals are implemented.

Personally I would rather risk seeing a Man City overtake us than accept that we are never going to have another 1981-2 ever again. Wouldn't you rather be 3rd in a race that was still going on, than 2nd in one that was finished?

It sounds like UEFA are claiming that this will level the playing field. It will, if you think that "Level" means the clubs who have done best in the last few years should always be the most successful.

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