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Manchester C under investigation again by Uefa

Of course it wasn’t just us.  We might have a little bit of a track record in picking up topics before the press and mass of the blogs get involved (referees and the PGMO, incompetence in the FA over coaching levels and grass roots football, journalistic problems with the question “why?” etc etc) but on FFP there have been a lot of people sniffing around.

Even Arsène Wenger raised questions about Lampard but he like the rest of us was struggling to see what was going on – not helped by City’s own misinformation service which only unravelled when they got out of one hole by digging another and revealing that Lampard was on a six month contract with Manchester C, not New York C.

The issue is now that neither Fifa nor Uefa has anything to say about signing a player on a low cost or free transfer, and then selling him on at an inflated profit to a club later on.   And if the other club is owned by the first club but is in another jurisdiction (as in Man C selling to NYC) no one even knows who is going to mount the investigation.  Fifa?

In business accounting in the EU, a sale (and thus an increase in profit) happens not when the money is collected but when the sale is announced.   If my company sells you a copy of Making the Arsenal and put an invoice in the book when it is supplied, according to Inland Revenue, I’ve made the sale and the cost of the book goes into the sums that work out how much tax I have to pay.  That happens even though you haven’t paid me yet.

So if my suggestion in an earlier piece is right and the City Group are looking to buy further clubs to add to the three they have – especially if buying in South America, they can do all the trading they want at any prices and manipulate profit and loss accordingly.  Yes, they’ll have to be paying some tax somewhere, but to a Group as rich as the City Group that is not meaningful.  And if that new club is located in one or two countries in south America that are not very good at tax collection, the issue of tax is irrelevant anyway.

Of course there is the “fair value” clause in Uefa regs which stops players’ values being artificially adjusted, but Uefa struggles to do anything about deals which go to other jurisdictions.  What’s more you could have a “£50,000 a game” clause in, and have the player come on for 10 seconds if it really was being investigated, but I doubt it would ever come to this.

But still Frank Lampard, fine player those he has always been, has a declining value, unless they are selling him, not just for his playing ability, but also his football insights and ability to coach.  Transfer fees for coaches and advisers – now there is a thought.

Given all this it is not surprising that Uefa is now investigating City Football Group and related firms over possible loss-sharing schemes following the fine, squad size and transfer restrictions imposed.

Manchester C showed a loss of £23m for 2013-14, and Uefa seem to be suspicious (although the Mail on Sunday newspaper had a comment from a person in Manchester to the effect that, “The examination of the club’s structure and subsidiary companies is a scheduled and routine part of the Uefa monitoring process.”)

But I think what is getting everyone a bit uptight is that City Football Marketing Ltd and City Football Services Ltd, both owned by Manchester City FC, showed losses of £25.9million in the same period of 2013/14.  If that loss is actually derived from work that would in most clubs be within the main football club and not in separate interlinked companies, that sum will need to be added to the ordinary losses, thus taking the total back to around £49 million.

Since then we have had the transfer of Bony, which has not raised much interest in the press vis a vis FFP, but it adds to the losses.  Add in the £42m for Mangala (not the much lower amount originally quoted in the press) and the spending seems to be continuing without much thought about FFP.

Of course Manchester City might be doing nothing wrong at all.  But the speculation last year took us to what turned out to be an accurate conclusion, and speculation is what blogs do.  Most blogs do it on transfers, we do it on finances, refereeing, media reports and the like.

What I wonder is why they are making all these arrangements in such a very different way from everyone else.   Why do things in a way that leads to suspicion – which will just take up the City Group’s time when asked to explain by the authorities – when there is another perfectly straightforward approach that could be used instead?

But then maybe everything is straightforward, but they just aren’t very used to being publicly accountable.

Want to make a comment?  Have a look at the rules

 

48 comments to Manchester C under investigation again by Uefa

  • Pete

    Mangala was £42mm? Wow. Almost makes David Luiz look good value!

  • the mickster

    Oh no Tony, stop finding things out !!!
    Tin Hats at the ready everyone, here comes the Citeh barrage !!

  • Gunnerjoe

    All of this for a rich mans play thing .

  • rantetta

    Tell it, Tony.

    And what exactly should we expect from the hosts and their cohorts on Sunday?

    Check out last time we were there:

    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/33088

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sadly, even if City are up to something, they will have people in place seeking out loopholes, and shifting the money around one step ahead of anyone investigating it. Its how the world works.
    Bonys transfer , apart from being a slap in the face to those who enforce FFP… will be paid over a period of time with other factors in some clever scheme
    The likes of City, and Chelsea (see latest Swiss Ramble) seem to be spending a fortune to put themselves back in the black, and winning quite a lot in the process. Chelsea are clearly in a more advanced stage of this than City. Is it fair, or just on the likes of Arsenal who have sacrificed winnings to live within their means …who knows but life in general, and a game run by Sepp Blatter are not intrinsically fair.
    Any attack on the likes of City by UEFA/FIFA will probably be, to quote Dennis Healey “like being savaged by a dead sheep”
    But would love for my cynicism to be proved wrong

  • insideright

    City came to the financial doping model much later than did Chelsea and therefore, as is usual in business matters, are finding it much more difficult to get out of it.
    Chelsea are able to recycle the original ‘dirty’ money via the sale of players bought with it. It’s called money laundering in other circles.But it can only work for a limited time and relies on rules about loans staying the same and there buying enough buyers in the market for what you need to sell.
    City are struggling much more having hit the fast lane potentially too late to spot that their exit is coming up too soon to change lanes. Getting free transfers in (Sagna, Lampard) can paper over the cracks for a while but the long term solution (produce your own players, increase crowds and the prices they pay) are still a long way off.
    In the meantime its about weaving a tangled web in order to deceive or at least to confuse and thereby to buy time.
    But they need to be very much on the ball with regard to the way they do it and not to assume that the authorities are quite so amenable or supine as they were ten years back.
    The wide spread consequences of financial doping are now plain for all to see and financial irregularites are being exposed up and down the game almost daily.
    City will certainly have top brains working on how to reverse out of the situation that they put themselves in (and we can’t deny that some of their redevelopment work is outstanding) but it’s in too many peoples interest to see the the rules are strictly applied and if indeed money talks we should remember that there’s a lot more of it outside City than there is in it.

  • Gooner S

    @Tony Put your tin hat on and man the barricades. Or in the words of Star Trek’s Chekov “Incoming”

  • ARSENAL 13

    As per journalists, what Man City are doing is clever. Well paid accountants doing their job.

    Hah…we didn’t know that did we.

    Its not about accountants or about being clever. Its about the money. Where is it coming from. Is their income in the range of their expenditure? That is the question that needs to be answered.

    One journalist goes on to say that the authorities should not take into account the money being spent on the training facilities as this helps the community. FFP excludes this from the calculations, or does it! So that should not be an argument to shield the ill doings.

    If City football group has multiple teams across the globe, its simple for them isn’t it. Sign him here loan him there. Or as the rumors suggest, sign a player for city football group and play him anywhere you want. As long as therz lazy media and lazy journalism, they’ll sit back and clap at this so called clever interpretation of the laws…..

  • Mandy Dodd

    If the likes of Ken Bates can, allegedly…. keep so much hidden with a couple offshore accounts, just imagine what City will be able to do with their global network of clubs, businesses and accounts
    Not sure you will be able to beat such odds, but can see some teams deciding to join them if they get away with it

  • bjtgooner

    @ARSENAL 13

    Fully agree, but just to further qualify your comment about the journalism and media – honest and unbiased reporting would not go amiss!

  • john

    Watch out for City’s retaliation on Sunday. With the aid of the referee, who will not see it, expect somebody (Milner is my guess, based on recent past form) to try to put Sanchez out of the game.

    Giroud a good bet for a red card, when he reacts to being persistently fouled.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    This thing is difficult. Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd are owned by powerful milionners and a very strong franchise base in the case of Man Utd. Even Liverpool are not left behind in terms of being owned by a passionate football milionner. Arsenal are equally owned by some two big milionners but one of the two is less passionate of winning football titles than his mate who appears to be much passionate of winning football titles if his statements and comments are to be taken for real. The owners of Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool are not only stinkingly rich but very passionate of the exploits of their teams in competitions. They want their clubs to win and continue to win and dominates. They have the money which they can afford to spend to satisfy their passions. ( insatiable addictions) but Stan Kroenke has no such insatiable passion for Arsenal. He is a business man who would not plunge money into Arsenal without minding if he will incur loses for the sake of winning. Whereas some of the club owners would unmindingly provide their managers with the money they need to deliver the victories. FFP may continue to sanctions those violating clubs like Man City, Barca and PSG, but their owners will also continue to bend round the FFP rules to get what they want as long as they keep having the means to push their clubs to win at all cost. Where are my/our beloved Arsenal stand in this milionners arrogance of wealth dilemma? Would football titles passionless Stan Kroenke agrees to sell his majority shares to Alishar Usmanov to see if he will make good of his passion for Arsenal to win titles by competing on a level play ground to buy high profile players. Or will the FFP clamb down properly on any disobedient clubs to obey the rules and regulations of the FFP. How about banning an FFP defaulter for 1 or 2 years from the Champions League?

  • Micheal Ram

    It’s gonna be a battle in Manchester. My worries are to think opponents like Milner, Fernandinho and Fernando playing against Arsenal. Demichelis is not an angel too. They are gonna kick our players off the park. It’s a similar pattern and the media will start brainwashing stupid Arsenal fans that AW gotta go. Gunners, gun them down!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    This thing is difficult. Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd are owned by powerful milionners and a very strong franchise base in the case of Man Utd. Even Liverpool are not left behind in terms of being owned by a passionate football milionner. Arsenal are equally owned by some two big milionners but one of the two is less passionate of winning football titles than his mate who appears to be much passionate of winning football titles if his statements and comments are to be taken for real. The owners of Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool are not only stinkingly rich but very passionate of the exploits of their teams in competitions. They want their clubs to win and continue to win and dominates. They have the money which they can afford to spend to satisfy their passions. ( insatiable addictions) but Stan Kroenke has no such insatiable passion for Arsenal. He is a business man who would not plunge money into Arsenal without minding if he will incur loses for the sake of winning. Whereas some of the club owners would unmindingly provide their managers with the money they need to deliver the victories. FFP may continue to sanctions those violating clubs like Man City, Barca and PSG, but their owners will also continue to bend round the FFP rules to get what they want as long as they keep having the means to push their clubs to win at all cost. Where are my/our beloved Arsenal stand in this milionners arrogance of wealth dilemma? Would football titles passionless Stan Kroenke agrees to sell his majority shares to Alishar Usmanov to see if he will make good of his passion for Arsenal to win titles by competing on a level play ground to buy high profile players. Or will the FFP clamdown properly on any disobedient clubs to obey the rules and regulations of the FFP. How about banning an FFP defaulter for 1 or 2 years from the Champions League?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Ducking the bullet !
    http://www.gocomics.com/wumo/2015/01/09

  • M18CTID

    I’m staying out of this discussion for a change so the barrage will have to come from somewhere else on this occasion 😉 The main reason being that much of this was touched on in the Lampard article and I gave my thoughts on the main points raised in that.

    The only thing I would add is in regards to the Bony deal and whether this takes us over the net spend that UEFA imposed on City as part of the FFP punishment. On the face of it, it certainly looks like it takes us well over the threshold. However, Bony is effectively Negredo’s replacement who is on loan at Valencia this season and when that loan spell is over they will buy him for £24 million. City would’ve actually sold him to them last summer but Peter Lim’s takeover of Valencia was still going through and hadn’t been ratified so we agreed to a season-long loan with an obligation for them to buy at the end of it.

  • Pete

    Reading today about City’s interest in Messi for some mind-boggling sum (£400mm+ incl wages). Would not seem to be a goer really!

  • jambug

    I used the word ‘Dodgy’ the other day and I wish to recant.

    ‘Very dodgy’ seems much more appropriate.

    As to whether we are talking about ‘Arabs’ ‘Businessmen’ ‘Football Cub owners’ ‘Marketing men’ ‘Cartels’ ‘angels’ ‘Community project workers’ I’m not really sure, and what’s more I am unwilling to commit, due to the enormous risk of upsetting those sensitive little souls that have so loyally followed City through thick and thin.

    Ah, Bless.

    So I think I’ll just stick with ‘goings on’

    Yep, that’s it.

    ‘Very dodgy goings on’ sounds about right to me 🙂

  • Gunnerjoe

    Valencia will never pay 24m for a player they have more depth than than most small countries.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Is it possible that Man City have decided not to worry about FFP spend the money throw the cards in the air see where they land.
    It’s not as if they suffered much from failing it last season.

  • M18CTID

    Gunnerjoe,

    According to this it’s 27 million Euros and it’s an obligation to buy. I suppose at current exchange rates that doesn’t quite equate to £24 million but it isn’t far off it. If it’s an obligation to buy they can’t back out of it, unless something went badly awry such as Negredo suffering a serious injury or suchlike

    “On 1 September 2014 Negredo signed a loan deal with an obligatory purchase clause with Valencia, which required the club to purchase his rights at the end of the campaign, for an amount believed to be around €27 million.”

  • Gunnerjoe

    Ok that seems quit conclusive

  • jambug

    M18CTID

    Would you now at least concede that this ‘nothing to see here’ attitude, so prevalent amongst many of the City fans that come here to mock, at least needs a little re evaluation?

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    I covered this in the Lampard article the other day. A couple of media outlets have put out what appears to be a trumped up story that City are now the subject of a fresh investigation by UEFA with regards to our accounts. I’ve seen it explained elsewhere by people far more financially savvy than me that it’s pretty much a non-story and it’s effectively conjecture – journalists looking for sensational headlines when there’s nothing there. Anyone with 30 seconds to spare can see that one of our FFP punishments was that we now have to give 6-monthly updates on our accounts to UEFA while the sanctions remain in place. I often see this site pointing out the amount of inaccurate stories about Arsenal so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that this article that originally appeared in the Mail is also bollocks as well. Moral of the story – one shouldn’t believe everything they read in the papers but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. None of you believe everything written about Arsenal in the papers so it doesn’t hold that you should believe everything written about another club no matter how much you wish it to be true 😉

    The proof will be in the pudding – if City get punished again this season by UEFA then fair enough, we can safely say there was something in it after all. If not then we’ll know Nick Harris (whoever the hell he is) was talking through his arse!

  • Will

    What I want to know is, will Man City get away with this buying several clubs and loaning players between them to hide costs?

    If yes, is that the end of the game as we know it?

    If no, will they get huge fines, points deletions and what I think would be teh best, a long ban from European competition?

  • jambug

    M18CTID

    Fair enough. I suppose it will all come out in the end, or at least you hope so.

    But you are in a minority of City fans with this attitude.

    Media shit stirring accepted, you at least seem to accept that it will be, and probably does need, further investigation.

    It may indeed turn out to be true that everything City are doing is ‘legal’. We will see. but even then that’s not really all it’s about is it?

    A lot of things the ‘Rich’ do regarding Tax, in everyday life is ‘legal’, but as you and I know, that doesn’t necessarily make it ‘right’ either morally, or in actuality.

    And as for those proclaiming City are just being ‘clever’ I’d like to ask them how they’d feel if somebodies ‘clever’ creative accountancy adversely affected them or there business?

    NB: ‘Clever’ accountancy by rich businesses costs this country Billions in lost Tax revenues year after year. In the mean time our National Health service is desperately short of cash.

    So it depends upon which side of the fence you sit really as to whether you see it as ‘clever’ or not doesn’t it.

  • M18CTID

    Will,

    If that’s what you truly believe and you have hard evidence to back it up, may I suggest you report it to UEFA?

    If you don’t then you might want to take your tin foil hat over to this site http://www.popularmechanics.com/_mobile/science/environment/natural-disasters/9-utterly-ridiculous-conspiracy-theories#slide-1 because I’m sure it makes sense that City, along with the likes of the New York Yankees and Nissan, would invest so much time, money, and effort into acquiring clubs in some of the world’s major cities for the sole reason of cheating FFP 😉

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    M18CTID, You are the only City supporter so far to comment on this article. Normally every time Tony writes about City, There is a multitude of your cohorts whinging about why an Arsenal site is writing about your club and nothing duplicitous is going on. It all a figment of Untold Arsenal’s imagination. Why didn’t you guys just come out and say you signed Lampard. Why all the obfuscation. If everything is on the up and up, There’s no need for any skullduggery. Me thinks something is rotten in Denmark so to speak. Your club is like a herring in the moonlight, It’s bright and shiny. But when you get down to brass tacks. It reeks of rotten dead fish. Here in the States, One of our Supreme Court Justices once said, Sunlight is the best disinfectant. We shall see what becomes of this. Out of all the City assholes who come on this website, You are the only motherfucker that has my respect. I mean that in the highest regard.

  • Will

    M18. I am sure you are a normal, rational bloke. Let’s take sides out of it and remove bias, do you think what you and Chelsea are doing is good for the game itself?

  • jambug

    But that’s the whole point isn’t it? It’s not as simple as just avoiding FFP is it?

    If, and of course it is an if, Manchester City FC was purchased as an integral part of an integrated portfolio of businesses spread across the globe, then maintaining Manchester city FC’s business operations viability, is surely essential.

    FFP may just be a very inconvenient spanner in the works, but a spanner that non-the-less needs navigating.

    Given the enormous investment already put into Manchester City and the possible pivotal roll that Manchester City, the business, may have to play in all this, to suggest those lengths would NOT be gone to is naïve in the extreme.

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    Yes, I’m not a fan of “clever/creative” accounting practices, especially as it usually benefits those that are already rich/wealthy while the likes of you and me and every other ordinary Joe has to stump up the full amount of tax. Weren’t Starbucks getting away with paying zero Corporation Tax? I’m not sure whether City are employing such practices as it’s not been unknown for other clubs to have done it in the past – I’m not having a dig but Arsenal were pulled up on this about a decade ago http://www.theguardian.com/football/2005/sep/09/newsstory.sport9 and tax avoidance schemes, while not particularly palatable despite not being illegal, is a separate issue for the taxman and not UEFA. The story about City and a possible fresh investigation by UEFA is not tax-related.

    As I said, City’s accounts are monitored on a more frequent basis but the story in the Mail appeared to imply that this is an additional investigation on top of the 6 monthly checks I referred to. The Mail article also implies that BDO, the company that independently audited our accounts (not the British Darts Organisation lol) aren’t doing their job properly because if there is any skulduggery then they would have to be in on it as well and I highly doubt that a firm as big as BDO would put themselves in that position. Now if it was Peter Swales getting his mate to audit our accounts on the back of an empty pack of Embassy No.1 over a brown split and a ploughman’s lunch down the Dog And Duck in Altrincham then they might well be on to something. After all. Swales was suspected for years of falsifying City’s attendance figures in order to pay less to the taxman – for big games often the Kippax would be full to bursting point, and the seats in the rest of the ground would be pretty much full,yet when the attendance figure came over the tannoy it would suggest that the ground was about 10,000 or more below capacity and said announcement would be met with guffaws of laughter!

  • M18CTID

    Will,

    To put it bluntly, what City and Chelsea are doing is good for City and Chelsea. As a City fan, my overwhelming priority is wanting the best for Manchester City and I can’t say I’m too disappointed with the way things have been going these past few years.

    If you’re looking at it impartially then it’s open to debate. On the one hand, it’s hardly levelled the playing field so that’s a negative. On the other hand, consider this – when Aguero won the league in the last minute at United’s expense in 2012 neutral fans the length and breadth of the country were rejoicing so you can’t say it’s all bad. I don’t expect fans of our direct rivals to be too enamoured though and I can fully understand Arsenal fans having more reason than most to be miffed by it all, moreso because we’ve taken 5 players from you. We did take Lazybayor off your hands for £25 million though so I’m sure you’re a little grateful for that 😉

  • jambug

    M18CTID

    I know it’s not necessarily directly about Tax, or at least not just tax.

    I was just using that as example to expose the notion that just replacing ‘dodgy’ with ‘clever’ doesn’t make finding ways to avoid paying your financial liabilities any more palatable.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have been self employed myself and am well aware of creative accountancy and never once said to my accountant ‘don’t try to find ways for me to pay the least Tax possible’.

    Conversely, my own moral compass never allowed me to invent ‘guard dogs’, ‘secretaries’, ‘business meals’ etc. etc. all things suggested to me, that didn’t exist.

    In life I have found, as I think we all have, that the more money you have, the greater the lengths you will go to keep it, legitimately or otherwise, and lets face it, not many have more money than the owners of Manchester City.

  • jambug

    M18CTID @ 8:40

    That is a pretty good honest summery of it, one I would fully endorse.

    How much accord you would find with you fellow City fans I’m not so sure.

  • Will

    M18. Pretty fair and a lot more reasoned than pretty much every other City fan I have met.

    I personally think both clubs have been so bad for football and the league in general. The top two spots are basically bought and paid for (with money not really earned) so that means the last two CL spots are between 3 to 4 teams.

    I think without the two money teams, there would have been more teams in the CL therefore more money to spend, teams would have better squads and you could have 6 teams fighting for the title. At the moment, we are in danger of becoming Scotland.

  • M18CTID

    Will,

    I wouldn’t expect an Arsenal fan to see it much differently to you to be honest. Take City and Chelsea out of the equation and you’re a lot closer to winning the league so I don’t blame you for that view. Self-interest guides the vast majority of us football fans and looking out for our own clubs will take precedence – unless you’re a fully paid up member of the AAA of course, and City have their fair share of AAA equivalents 😉

  • ThomB

    M18CTID- “obligation to buy” @ €27million? Valencia are up to their eyes. Maybe the can pay citeh 5p per week until 2115, its all loose change to Citeh anyway. As the author points out, as long as it is invoiced and seen to go through their books. Another loophole exposed. Well done Mr Attwood.

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    Probably more than you think. I think most City fans – most football fans for that matter – don’t bother using the internet to talk football matters so they’ll be blissfully unaware of the discussions that take place on this or any other forum and are only really concerned with goings-on at their own club. In reality, the comments you see online from fans of all clubs represent a tiny minority of that club’s overall support.

    On a slightly different note, when it comes to posting on other club’s forums, a thick skin is often required because one will often see comments that might not be too flattering to their own club. I’ve been guilty myself of not letting it wash over me and really should exercise more tolerance at times given that I’m effectively a guest in someone else’s house so to speak. However, I do like engaging with fans of other clubs, learning about their clubs, talking stats, and reminiscing about matches in the distant past. My mates don’t call me Statto for nothing lol.

  • M18CTID

    ThomB,

    5p a week for the next hundred years equals £260. Whoever signed that deal off at City deserves a rocket up their arse and a P45 in the post!

  • OlegYch

    M18CTID, always enjoying your comments, but Valencia buying someone for 20 mln pounds seems unbelievable
    otoh if they pay it over say 3 years, they could probably afford it
    we will see, i guess
    in any case, that would be pretty clever from MC

  • para

    When one is mega-rich, there are usually no obstacles big enough to surmount, unless that is, you anger someone richer than you. Manc will do what ever they want until they pixx off someone else, then they will be eligible to be punished.

    //
    Got good feelings about Manc-Arsenal. The lads are glue-ing together again after the constant injuries, but learning to slot in where needed, and do a good job too.

    We cannot afford to respect Manc ground, but concentrate solely on winning, imagine we are playing Spuds(Manc, and every other team, are just manifestations of spuds) and we are not going to let spuds beat us. I guarantee you we would win every game.

  • Will

    M18. Luckily I am old enough to take club bias out of my view (sometimes) and as much as I want Arsenal to win things, I also want a highly competitive league where we have several teams going for the title and not just two.

  • M18CTID

    Will,

    I want a highly competitive league too – I certainly don’t want City winning the title by 20 points. There wouldn’t be much fun in that as the last half dozen or so games would be dead rubbers. Better to win it on the last day of the season. Better still to win it in the last minute a la Aguero in 2012 and Michael Thomas in 1989.

    I’d refute the allegation that it’s now a 2 team monopoly. Last season Liverpool were in the box seat with 3 games to go, and Arsenal were fantastic for over half the season but suffered from a chronic injury list and a nightmare set of fixtures during February and March. City and Chelsea might be well clear this time around but both teams haven’t been overly spectacular, rather they’ve shown consistency. Then add in the inconsistency so far of Arsenal, United, Liverpool, and Spurs – all those teams are capable of better results than they’ve been getting this season. United in particular can’t complain after spending something like £150 million+ in the summer – they now have the most expensively assembled squad in Premier League history yet are playing the most disjointed and least attractive football of all the teams I’ve mentioned. At this rate they’ll need to spend another £150 million in order to make a realistic challenge for the title. How the hell they won at Arsenal and Saints in successive away games playing like they did is completely and utterly beyond me. Your team should’ve destroyed them yet they had one shot on target and scored 2 goals! So while spending lots of money helps hugely, if it gets mismanaged and spent in the wrong areas (as I believe it has at United under both Moyes and so far under van Gaal) then you could still come up well short. I thought they were nailed on for a top 4 place a couple of weeks ago but now I’m not so sure – I expect both Arsenal and Spurs to improve as the season goes on and Liverpool have closed the gap on them to just 5 points after looking like not having a chance of getting top 4 a few weeks ago.

  • ThomB

    M18CTID

    Thats the point. Once the deal goes through the books its all the same whether citeh get the cash or not, its all loose change to them anyway. Kind of like the 25 odd milion for Adebarndoor.

    It will be interesting to see what Uefa do if you are caught cheating FFP again

  • jambug

    M18CTID @ 10:58 8.16

    Again fair comments.

    Particularly:

    “when it comes to posting on other club’s forums, a thick skin is often required because one will often see comments that might not be too flattering to their own club. I’ve been guilty myself of not letting it wash over me and really should exercise more tolerance at times given that I’m effectively a guest in someone else’s house so to speak.”

    I do understand this, therefore I do try to be polite, but Like you occasionally fail to let it wash over you, I sometimes forget my manners.

    But honestly I really try to keep it in check. In fact I am far more likely to have a pop at fellow Gooners that I see as agitants, simply determined to criticise and stir the shit no matter what you say, or what evidence you presented to them.

    And relating to that, you say:

    “Arsenal were fantastic for over half the season(last year) but suffered from a chronic injury list and a nightmare set of fixtures during February and March.”

    Exactly. We just had TOO MANY injuries. Why, is a whole other debate, but I believe we WOULD of won the PL without them. It’s a shame so many pundits and sadly our own fans still chose to bash us, and Wenger in particular, for what happened.

    “City and Chelsea might be well clear this time around but both teams haven’t been overly spectacular, rather they’ve shown consistency. Then add in the inconsistency so far of Arsenal, United, Liverpool, and Spurs – all those teams are capable of better results than they’ve been getting this season.

    Very true. Especially us I would say.

    But again injuries. From the start of the season we where without Theo, our second top scorer before his injury. From Very early, Giroud, our top scorer. We have also been without our 2nd best striker (in Theos absence) last year, Ramsey. Add in to that lengthy injuries to Ozil, Wilshere, Koz, Chambers, Arteta. With most of these coming back I really hope we can push on for a reasonably comfortable 3rd, because personally I think we are, by a distance, the 3rd best squad, and SHOULD in all honestly be in the running for the title with you and Chelsea. But as I said, those pesky injuries again. As for United, £150+ spent and they are shite. How the f**k they’ve fluked there way to where they are I’ll never know. Spurs are, well Spurs. Liverpool are a great example to back up what we said about our injuries, confirming what a massive impact losing just one player (Suarez), well give them the benefit, 2 (Sturridge) players can have. With Stirling and Sturridge back I believe them to still be top 4, without, mid table.

    And finally,

    “So while spending lots of money helps hugely, if it gets mismanaged and spent in the wrong areas (as I believe it has at United under both Moyes and so far under van Gaal) then you could still come up well short.”

    This is certainly true to a point but being honest Moyes should NEVER of got the job, and as bad as he’s been and as much as he’s spent Van Gaals only been there 6 Months.

    The point about money is it’s not about having £100 Million + to spend all in one go. It seems very hard to make that work. Spurs, Liverpool and now United have all tried it and failed. It seems spending regularly, every season, just refreshing, improving and enlarging the squad, is the best way. That is what Chelsea and City did, all be it with about £50 Million Net a season, and what Wenger is doing, all be it with a fair bit less than that.

    That is another reason why all these people, including many Arsenal fans, are so wrong when they scream about what Wenger has in the bank and how he should of spent it all last summer.

    IT DOESN’T WORK !!

    Just keep adding, when you can. When the right players are available, steadily improving and growing your squad. Which is exactly what City and Chelsea do, and what I now believe Wenger is aiming to do, given the extra funds available.

    We are still behind City and Chelsea in terms of revenues but we are certainly a lot closer. The closer we get, spending power wise, the closer we will run you in the PL. THAT is why we take the FFP so seriously because without it we have next to no chance of matching your spending power.

    As it says at the top, football matters from an Arsenal perspective, and how City, Chelsea and all the other ‘sponsored’ Clubs are affected by FFP is extremely relevant, from an Arsenal perspective.

    Should be a good game Sunday.

  • Will

    M18, fair points but I would like to pick up on one point.

    “United in particular can’t complain after spending something like £150 million+ in the summer – they now have the most expensively assembled squad in Premier League history yet are playing the most disjointed and least attractive football of all the teams I’ve mentioned. At this rate they’ll need to spend another £150 million in order to make a realistic challenge for the title.”

    That is the problem, when you have clubs being able to spend £100m a season (if not more) other teams have to spend that just to keep pace and there are not many clubs who can do that so therein lies the problem for me. Yes you are right, spending doesn’t guarantee success just as being rich doesn’t always make you happy. but I can tell you, not having to worry about the bills does.

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    All fair comments and eloquently put. I’m stuck for time so will have to be brief but in any case I pretty much agree with all you said anyway. What I will add is that I totally accept that City (and Chelsea before us) have thrown a huge curveball into Arsenal’s plans but Wenger has steered you through the most difficult period and the AAA need to realise that he’s do e a great job on that score. It would be unfair on Wenger if he were to leave now and a new manager gets to take advantage of bigger transfer funds that Wenger had during most of this period. Wenger himself deserves at least a few more years with this larger transfer kitty to see what he can achieve with it.

    Yes, it should be a good game Sunday – last year was a lot closer than the scoreline and many pundits suggested.

  • jambug

    M18CTID

    Again well put.

    “Wenger himself deserves at least a few more years with this larger transfer kitty to see what he can achieve with it.

    Yes, it should be a good game Sunday – last year was a lot closer than the scoreline and many pundits suggested.”

    Here’s to a similarly extravagant match, with perhaps just a little tweaking of the final scoreline 🙂