FFP 2025/26 looks like a fantastic deal of Man C. So why are they fighting?



The new Premier League agreement which has just been announced, and which will run from 2025/26 limits the clubs that are competing in Europe (irrespective of which competition they are in) to spending 70 per cent of the club’s total turnover on players.

However, the rest of the clubs that are not in European competition will be able to spend 85 per cent of their total income on player transfers and salaries.   Obviously this requires some juggling for clubs that go in and out of Europe (and let’s not forget that as recently as 2021/22 Arsenal were not in Europe) and have to balance their funding and expenses on transfers knowing that their income might go up a little (if for example they get into the Conference) but the amount they can spend funding previously arranged transfers goes down by 15% of their total income.

Such a scenario looks a great deal for Man C because all they have to do is increase their income from linked organisations and they can just go on spending as much as they like.  But as yet there is no suggestion they are stopping their legal action against the rest of the League.

The new system will start in 2025/26. Any club found to be in a significant breach of the regulations will still be subject to points deductions.   That means Manchester City would be able to spend  £560m on wages, transfers and agents fees under the 70% limit, and this will go up year by year.  Unless of course any of their sponsorship deals from associated organisations are rejected by the rest of the League as fakes.

However over half the clubs in the league will be limited to a spending limit of £200m or less, even though they are allowed to spend 85 per cent limit of their income on transfers and salaries. Player trading and doing well in a cup will be their only way to make more – unless they do a Manchester City and find sponsors who will pay whatever is asked because they are associated with the club. 

It is suggested that clubs that are known to be good at developing young players will benefit, and that could be true, but there could be other dangers lurking around the corner.

Certainly, the main beneficiaries look like being the current big six which could mean Newcastle will continue to be held back in terms of spending.  And indeed I’m surprised Newcastle have gone for the deal.   Maybe they didn’t read the small print, maybe they feel assured that Manchester City will get the rules changed, or maybe they know something I don’t know.  Or indeed maybe I just read all this wrong.

But what the new system seems to reward above all is regular success, which then suggests that clubs will do anything to get regular success – and dig even bigger holes for themselves if they fail.  Certainly, I can’t see Aston Villa taking a cool and cautious approach to keeping their newly acquired top-six slot.

As before, clubs are not limited on how much they spend on the community, their buildings, the women’s team, club facilities, and young players.

A report in the New York Times suggests that West Ham gained £19m in prize money by winning the Europa Conference League plus the income from seven extra home games and the final.  Maybe enough to buy a player – but not much more than that.  But as a reward their subsequent spend on players would go down from 80% to 70% of turnover.

Now it is quite true that West Ham have no mortgage on their stadium since they were given it for free by the state, and that gives them a huge advantage.  But even so, that is still going to be a blow, and it looks like it is going to be hard for clubs that finish in seventh and eighth to make the leap to sixth, and survive.  Either they spend to their maximum allowed and run up debts or they don’t and immediately slip down.

Combined with this is the battle with Manchester City which is intent on blowing all the regulations out of the water.  If Man C were to win their new legal case against the League and as a result get the ability to spend what they like, that would put them at odds with this European ruling…  Thus one battle leads to another.

So what we have now is a set of changes which are being introduced and which Manchester City are voting for but seem doomed to end up fighting against.   This could be quite interesting.


One Reply to “FFP 2025/26 looks like a fantastic deal of Man C. So why are they fighting?”

  1. sky sports saying Miedema might go to City. I hated how they poached Arsenal players when they first formed due to being able to offer more money.

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