By Tony Attwood
I wrote yesterday about how Uefa was facing up to, and failing, a test of its ability and willingness to take on racists.
But there is a second that Uefa are facing. What to do about the clubs that are flagrantly ignoring the Financial Fair Play rules, and are simply pursuing a course which is utterly contradictory to what Uefa set out in its FFP.
There is no doubt that Manchester City will fail the FFP test. The question is will Uefa just give them a ticking off, or fine them a sum which Man City can easily pay. Or will they refuse them a licence to play in Europe. By this, as with by their treatment of Serbia, Uefa will be judged.
Man City’s reported yesterday were £97.9m for last year. True that is under half of the £197.5m loss for the previous year reported, mostly because of increased European revenue, and increased media exposure. But Man City’s wage bill has continued to rise and now has reached £201m. They can reduce that a bit this year, but they will have to produce some extra income from somewhere. Clearly they were expecting a qualification for the Champions League knockout stages, and the failure to get money from that, is a major setback.
Man City do not have Chelsea’s problem, wherein huge sums are spent every year or two paying off managers. This time round they just spent half a million on getting rid of chief executive Garry Cook. And they can claim that £15m or maybe even £20m has been spent on allowable areas like youth development. As well knocking out money spent on wages for contracts that started before June 2010. So Carlos Tevez’ pay packet doesn’t count as long as that is the only reason that the club fails FFP. In fact, I can’t see how this can be the case because so much of their spending has been on bringing in new players.
Somehow the loss has to be got down to £38m – and that means a much lower wages bill With the City wage bill for 2012-13 unlikely to drop and no substantial new commercial deals believed to be in the pipeline, converting the notional £30m “FFP loss” into an overall two-year £38m “FFP loss” looks a tall order. The £50m pre-2010 wages figure cannot be taken off again in the accounts delivered next year.
Mancini however wants new players, and this is the key to it all. If he gets them because the owners want victories then they might well just give up on the Champions League for the sake of winning the Premier League. They could also suggest that they are moving in the right direction, that their situation is unusual, and here’s a few bob for the coffers of Uefa. That could work.
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- December 14: Ted Drake Day
- December 13: when Arsenal fans turned against Arsenal – the start of the modern era
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- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Arsenal v Leicester: comparing the form, and the goalscorers
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- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.
- Premier League 2022/23 – Matchweek 2 Refereeing matters
- Are we all really sure that no other club behaves like Barcelona?