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Who is going to sue Uefa first?

By Tony Attwood

Why so many articles about Uefa and Financial Fair Play?

Two reasons really.  One is that it is just about the biggest thing happening in football at the moment, apart possibly from the issue of corruption.  The other is that a full and proper implementation of FFP will cause problems for some clubs and benefits for others.  Arsenal is definitely on the benefit side.

So Uefa has said it will look closely at Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG in terms of their sponsorship deals to ensure that no one has broken the rules on  investments from related parties.

In effect this means that they may have broken the rule that says that clubs can’t  count income from such sources as being exempt from money considered under FFP, unless it is at a “fair market value”.

So if Manchester City (to name but a few) were to sign a 10-year £350million stadium and shirt sponsorship contract (to take a number at random) with  airline Etihad (to choose an example at out of the blue), which is based in Abu Dhabi (to choose a country by just opening the atlas and seeing what page we get to), and we find that the ruling family of that country also owns the club (by some wild coincidence), then Uefa has to say if this deal is a deliberate attempt to get around the rules, or is set at a fair market price.

And then again if we take a figure like £200million-a-year (chosen of course by spinning a wheel) and take a club (let’s say, for the sake of example and nothing more, PSG), and note that their owners are the Qatari Investment Authority, and let us say, oh, just for no reason than its there, that the money comes from the Qatar Tourism Authority, which (we might conjecture), handles 23 tourists a year from France, we can say, well, that’s fine then.  All straight and above board.  Nothing to worry about.  Hunky dory.  Tickety boo.

Now we won’t know what Uefa thinks, until it has a thought, but basically if they let either of these deals go through, then FFP is not so much dead, as merely a twinkle in someone’s eye which was never born and has never got off the ground.

So what does Uefa think?  General secretary Gianni Infantino said, of the clubs,  “They have to demonstrate that they can cover their costs with the revenues that they generate without cheating. If the result is that something went wrong then sanctions will be taken.”

In Uefa’s defence we have to note that they have excluded a few clubs from its competitions, including Portsmouth, Malaga and Besiktas for breaking some details of FFP – although not the little details that Man C and PSG are alleged by some wild and thoughtless bloggers to have broken.

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So Uefa has set up an independent “chamber” which will impose sanctions if they are needed.  And that could start legal action over the true and reasonable meaning of the phrase “fair market value”.

Mr Infantino continued,“We were always worried – and I say this with a smile – with clubs that were telling us, ‘We will sue you if you dare take sanctions against us for Financial Fair Play regulations’, [because] we have the other clubs who will sue us if we don’t take sanctions against those who have breached the rules.”

Uefa has however released the 2011 Club Licensing Benchmarking Report, which shows quite clearly that (to take an example at random) Chelsea and Manchester City would have be expelled from the Champs League two years back if the limited loss rule had been in force two years ago.  And to show that  it is not just an English thing, so would 18 other clubs that exceeded the maximum €45 million losses over three years.

But what would these sanctions be, I hear you cry.  Anything from fines (which are of course meaningless to Chelsea and Manchester City), to expulsion from the Champions League and Europa League, which might make Mr Abramovich pack up his yacht and toddle off to somewhere less boisterous than the King’s Road.

Mr Infantino added that, “Last year… when we published this benchmarking report for the clubs, we were saying that it’s a wake-up call for the clubs. But I think the clubs are really ‘up’, that the Financial Fair Play rules show that they have teeth and that those are biting now.”

So there we have it.  Whatever Uefa do, someone is going to sue them.   Which by and large should be rather interesting.  One might say that the future of European football depends totally on who wins the legal battle.

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158 comments to Who is going to sue Uefa first?

  • nick shaw

    Have you ever wondered why it is repeatedly stressed that MCFC is soley owned privatly by one man Sheikh Mansour ??.The club has been bought privatly ,nothing to do with Royal Wealth…….Totally privatly.MCFC will soon be announcing over a billion ,yes billion pounds worth of new sponsorship and once filed in companies house ,UEFA HAVE to accept it or be in court before the inks dry.Sorry to upset you bitter gooners….

  • Alphie-Izzett

    The Law is the Law. Anyone can sue but only the side who is right in Law wins.
    Mansoor seems to have slammed the lid on Manchester City spending to attempt to at least show it is moving the right way, Abramovich seems to have said ‘sod it’ and spent a fortune. So it looks like it may be Roman taking on the mindlessly incompetent tw&ts at Uefa HQ, one might imagine that by his actions he has been told he has a rock solid case 🙂

  • Darren

    Green eyed monster 🙂 Dumped out of the top three and have won nothing in with years…. Oh you and united cannot wait for FFP!!! Shame it was not introduced 4 years ago as that would have really thrown a spanner in the works at city but I’m afraid it’s a bit too late so suggest you get used to fighting for forth every year :-)))))

  • Rolee

    I got as far as your hypothesis Tony and stopped reading as you claim that the ruling family of Abu Dhabi owns Manchester City F.C. . This is wrong.

  • blueshy

    Would you fekking drop it and give it some rest! You boring us with your constant rant! Even if it works you wont win feck all, you won’t attract best players and your best players will still jump ship. FFP this and that yawn yawn. When you win the champions league numerous times then act like some kind of European giant. FOR THE RECORD WHO SPINSORS YOUR STADIUM? OPEN THE ATLAS AND TAKE A CLOSE LOOK YOU TWO FACED HYPOCRITE.

  • Mjc

    Bit of a numpty-fest in the comment section here.
    Hardly worth responding to….
    Great article – I’m looking forward to seeing whether FFP has teeth.

  • The Goat

    Deary me, just what exactly is your stadium called? Highbury??? O, that’s right it’s the Emirates or are you too stupid to make that leap?

    O and Utd getting their training kit sponsored by DHL, yeah nice and fair eh?

    Why don’t you do some correct research and actually find out where City’s owners actually come from instead of writing this dribble.

  • Boris


    Don’t let your bitterness get in the way of the truth.

  • ClockEndRider

    Nice work again Tony.
    Some commenters seem to be a little concerned, hence the straw clutching and name calling they are indulging in. Can’t do anything about that but ignore them.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I wouldn’t knock city too much in here, they have after all paid a seizable chunk of our stadium, I mean 41 million for a trouble maker and a defender on the wane. And what has happened to nasri?

  • WalterBroeckx

    oh look the big-money supporters are here 😉

    Nice article Tony. For those who can understand it

  • Jay

    Darren, you can’t even spell ‘fourth’ which renders you opinion redundant and Blueshy, Emirates sponsor our stadium but they have no business links with the owner of our club, therefore it’s a sponsorship deal based on two parties striking an agreement they feel will benefit both of them. Abu Dhabi are using their company Etihad to filter through money to Man City to avoid FFP. That’s the difference and the point the article makes is very valid. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact. An opinion would be that you, Blueshy, are a moron. That’s just my opinion but most people that have met you probably share the same one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And apparently the big-money supporters want to dictate us what we can write about.
    Well we are still living in a democracy (or sort of) so I think we can write about any thing we want. Maybe if the sheikh would be in complete control of the country this could change of course…. after all money talks or makes you shut up…

  • nick shaw

    Nasri is a Champion now ….thats because he left Arsenal

  • Rolee

    Walter, this article is on City’s Newsnow page, hence the presence of City fans. Does anyone have an opinion on the glaring error I pointed out in the article or are you just going to behave like the schoolyard bully?

  • It's Grim Oop North

    If the AAA (so called) get their way, and Usmanov takes control of the crisis club Arsenal, spends the money needed to compete again, will he instruct his lawyers to challenge FFFP regs as well?

    Now that would be ironic 🙂

  • If you’re writing about FFP it would help if you understood the concept of Related Party Transactions. They’re not new to UEFa but have been a requirement in corporate reporting for a number of years. The UEFA rules merely replicate, word-for-word, the relevant International Accounting Standard on the subject. Under UK Company law it’s a criminal offence not to declare a related party transaction in your accounts and – guess what – City don’t consider the Etihad deal to be one and therefore haven’t declared it as such. Sheikh Mansour has no influence over Etihad’s business and no one at Etihad is a related party to MCFC under the definition in IAS 24. There is one non-executive director in common but that relationship is not regarded as a related party under IAS 24.

    So stop bleating about things you don’t understand and focus on why your own club has sold good players and replaced them with average ones.

  • Jeremy Poynton

    “So if Manchester City (to name but a few) were to sign a 10-year £350million stadium ”

    £100m for the new academy (capital expense)
    £25m for 10 years, sponsorship.

    Not out outrageous at all. And, the academy will provide work and facilities for Mancunians.

  • nicky

    I read your post, Tony, then started to read the comments. Up to the appalling ranting of the moron “blueshy”…..
    I’m all for free speach but do we really have to put up with the regular drivel and abuse from this idiot?
    Poor spelling and grammar aside, the guy (a female would have more sense) cannot even construct an intelligent argument.

  • Glowey

    WalterBroekx, We are indeed still living in a democracy (or sort of) and, I’d suggest you check out the European Unions anti competition laws (known as anti trust law in the USA).

    FFP tries to drive a horse and cart through this law and, if ANY club decides to take it to the European Court of Justice, FFP would be thrown out in seconds and UEFA know it.

  • Gunner

    Enjoy your ‘success’ while it last city fans, your sugar daddies cash will soon be worthless and you’ll be half the way back to where you came from i.e. yoyo battles between the premiership and championship.

    I used to like Man City and always supported them when they played against Utd but nowadays they’ve become just as arrogant as their neighbours…. how must it feel to become everything you hate? Is the price of success worth it?

    And no, I’m not jealous. I’d rather eat my own faeces than see my Arsenal resort to whoring themselves to some foreign sugar daddy.

    We don’t want the likes of Usmanov at our club. We have dignity.

  • Rolee

    Gunner, what is your opinion in how Arsenal established themselves in the top flight of English football?

  • mark andrews


    Please read this for a thoughtful review of the events of 1919.

  • Gunner

    That was pre Hitler days!! You can find something dodgy if you go back into any club, or frankly and familes past – it doesn’t justify a free for all now with zero morals!

    Arsenal only benefited unfairly by getting promoted once anyway. It was the genuis of Herbert Chapman that really established Arsenal in the top flight of English and world football 🙂

  • Rolee

    Thanks for the link Mark, interesting reading. I don’t think it can be denied however that Norris was a ‘sugar daddy’.

  • Stuart

    Love how all the dim city fans are coming on here and getting all defensive when this article is about current affairs in football using some examples and not aimed at singling them out in particular. How the hell could you write about this subject without mentioning mcfc?

  • Rolee

    Gunner, what free for all with no morals? What on earth are you talking about? Did it ever cross your mind that perhaps City made such a huge investment at such an accelerated rate to bridge the gap and thus maximise their revenues before these FFP rules came into effect?

  • Stuart

    Let’s hear your version of events then

  • WalterBroeckx

    A sugar daddy?
    A sugar daddy who has saved this club that was going bankrupt.
    He then paid all the debts in 1910. And then the first success only came some 20 years later. He surely didn’t act as the current sugar daddy’s didn’t he?
    No he build a stadium for his club (would be allowed by FFP rules by the way) and then slowly build a team and a club. And it took him 20 years as said before so the complete opposite of the buy all and everyone of the current sugar daddy’s clubs.
    In fact he didn’t was there when the success came along, but it sure was his work that made it possible.

  • rusty

    @blueshy — Oh, gee, I hadn’t noticed the name on Arsenal’s stadium, clearly they should not have undertaken such an ethically-dubious move as building and financing their own stadium. Indeed, it would have been far better to have built a stadium using taxpayer money…

  • Adam

    Yes Rolee by destabilising a market that had to contend with Chelsea destabilising it. which is something that the EU want to stop from happening again and again and again.

    It always makes me laugh when a person justifies actions because the laws were not in place then.

    Yes Rolee many a club have benefited from various rules and investment. You seem to be a singular supporter without the best interests of football at the fore-thought of you mind.
    As long as your club is OK all is well.

    You mention “bridging a Gap” what makes you think in footballing terms your club deserves to be in contention for the league title or have qualified for champions league football at the expense of other clubs?

    I would really like to know what sets Manchester city apart from other clubs in deserving to be competitive?

  • Boris

    Arsenal pay their directors and executives £50m a year bonuses then blame City because there’s nothing left to buy players.

  • WalterBroeckx

    ManCity fans sure are touchy when people talk about money in football. And certainly when those people dare to suggest that it might end sooner or later

  • It's Grim Oop North

    All this talk of “sugar daddies” reminds me of Tony Adams’ reminiscing about how Danny Fiszman the diamond merchant bought success for the “Unbeatables”, this is from Arseblog: –

    “Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has credited late director Danny Fiszman for Arsenal’s development in the last two decades.

    Fiszman bought 8% of the club from David Dein in 1992 and Adams claims it was this purchase, and his investment in the club, which allowed Arsenal to attract better players.

    Speaking to The Independent, he said “I think that a significant factor, 90 per cent, in why we achieved so much is that Danny Fiszman invested £50m in the club and we were able to go to the next level.

    “I got my first decent contract at the club, so did David Seaman, we were able to bring in Dennis Bergkamp – and that was before Arsène arrived – David Platt, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, and were able to pay them – top players from around the world”.

    Goodness me, can you imagine the Arsenal being able to invest the equivalent of that sum nowadays with FFFP regs? Platini would boot them straight out of Europe wouldn’t he?

  • Rolee

    Stuart, I’ve no issue with anyone writing about City, I welcome it in fact, my issue is when there are mistruths, whether through ignorance or design, that is the reason I made my initial comment.

  • Rolee

    Adam, every club deserves the right to be competitive. When the CL was set up it killed any level playing field because of the revenues that were available to those clubs who just happened to be at the top of their domestic league at the time. There was absolutely nothing fair about how the wealth was distributed in European football over the last two decades.

    FFP doesn’t have the interests of football at the forefront of its thoughts, if it did it would do something to address existing debt, a wage cap would be introduced and there would be measures put in place to prevent clubs from pricing fans out of attending games. All these rules will serve to do is protect the established elite and deter any fresh investment in the game.

  • mark andrews

    He and William Hall had money and saved Arsenal from bankruptcy in 1910. However, he and William Hall used their nous to lobby and form alliances to benefit Arsenal. Because at that 1919 election one team was going to get elected:- and they made sure it was The Arsenal, as Andy’s article says.
    Different times: they were both real football men, both also initilaly on the Fulham board and representing League committees and the like.

  • Adam

    This is where you are mistaken. Have you read the lastest reports on the governance of the game? From an EU perspective?

  • Adam

    Rolee, the EU wish to address a whole magnitude of imbalances, even suggesting that the current pyramid system which you allude to in your comment is being circumvented by the benefactor model.

  • Adam

    I think people like Rolee really miss the point.

    The wealthy benefactor model within football has never really been addressed properly. The only reason football has a transfer market is because of wealthy benefactors buying up all the good footballers back in the 1880s which led to player registrations, which opened a market for purchasing player registrations.

    The wealthy benefactor model has influenced the background of football for too long and needs addressing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would dare to bet quite a bit of money on the fact that before the name of your sheikh was ever mentioned you would have been the fiercest supporter of FFP rules?
    And by the way you now are ‘part of the established elite’ you now. Or do you need to invest another billion quid in the team to win another trophy?

  • Rolee

    Walter, we are part of the elite now be ause we got in before the drawbridge was pulled up. Adam, you are the one that is missing the point my friend, answer me this, why were the FFP rules first mooted?

  • mike c

    When this topic comes up club loyalties usually blur everyones vision. How can Arsenal fans say they have financed their own stadium ? Is it called Highbury ?? no EMIRATES like city’s is call ETIHAD . Also the money came from the banks not Arsenals saving account !! i have admired the football of Arsenal under Wenger and applauded them off after watching them give us a good pasting . But lets be honest FFP is all about keeping the old so called G14 clubs at the top of the tree . The real issue is that the business model of these clubs mean they have to stay at the top of the tree as thats what their budgets demand .just remember MUFC cannot pay the debts without champions league football !!

  • Adam

    @Rolee, Everey club. Does that include those that are now semi-professional?

    An example for you Rolee would be; A supporter of a semi-professional side looking at us moaning at each other and thinking when will my team ever get the chance to play professional football.

    This is the true pyramid system where results on the pitch only influence a teams progression and not the financial side of the game which can (if pooled) be shared appropriately and fairly (and I include Arsenal in this).

    Too many times we see teams relegated and have to sell players because of the financial indifferences between the leagues this also needs addressing.

    When the EU state they wish to address the imbalances they mean across the Pyramid.

  • Adam

    Rolee, you miss the point, You cannot separate FFP which is the brain child of UEFA (as a one-upmanship on FIFA after FIFA and the EU could not agree on a way forward) from what is happening behind the scenes.

    All the rules in place at the moment can be changed. 2001 Player transfer and status regs were introduced to combat the effect of the Bosman ruling, TMS introduced by FIFA to gain control over the international transfer market to stop the EU from acting. We are seeing the gradual influence of the EU and UEFA & FIFA are trying to stay one step ahead in a game of cat & mouse for control.

    Ultimately the politicians (lawyers) will win.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    Come on Tony,

    how long do I have to be in moderation for????

    Fair play for all posters i say, even if they speak uncomfortable truths!

  • Jason

    I’d be more interested in seeing the outcome of an English club taking the Premier League version of FFP to court (heard Al-Fayed could be the one to do it) – surely in Britain they are a restraint to free trade which is against the law here? I’m not a lawyer and don’t know how fail-proof these rules are on a European level but even I can see many holes in these rules – and that’s as a supporter of a team that will benefit from them. To me it’s a very transparent attempt to kill off any threats beyond Chelsea and City (and even hinder them to a smaller extent).

  • Darren

    Society encourages jealousy and the knocking down of anyone and anything that is seen to be successful. I have read some intelligent points well made on both sides but you cannot honestly think that that You can command the morale high ground just because you have not benefited from significant investment in recent years….. Selling out soles to the Arabs??? If he was British would your sentiment be so borderline racist? Is it the money. The fact city have won trophies and have been the only genuine threat to yoonited in the past few years or isit just that you are now seen as a very bearable team who has won nothing in years??? Love us hate us we have suffered more than most top flight teams in the past 30 years so why not us??? BTW check out the futureproof £200m complex being constructed in east Manchester!!! Best of it’s kind in the world when it’s finished so you better find another rich club to fund your ground or you can always put your ticket priced up:-) happy days…..

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nobody forces those rich clubs to step out or stay in the PL. They can do so by writing a letter to the PL/FA and they resign. And then they can invest what they want without any limitations. The problem will be to find teams to play against.

    And any organisation can make rules that the clubs who want to join (they can step out as said) can choose between joining and following the rules or not wanting to follow the rules and not join in.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I always wonder why City couldn’t do it on their own? The stadium was the same size as Highbury or even bigger. And yet it didn’t work for them in those days.

  • John

    A bit ironic that Mancini has thrown his toys out of the pram in his rant against his players and criticised the owners for not strengthening their squad!

    Sure, they obviously haven’t spent enough, otherwise they would be as good as QPR, who have spent loads.

    It seems strange to feel that Chelsea are not the most dis-likeable of the teams at the top of EPL

  • GoonerDave

    FFP is a toucy subject. It would be great for football if it was introduced. Great for all clubs in the long run.
    Correct me if Im wrong, but I believe that there is no cap on certain expenditure? I think you can spend what you like on youth development etc. If that becomes law, then its a good thing for City too – no doubt their owners would want the very best facilities, coaches and staff, to prepare for the future.
    I dont understand why City fans are so sensitive about it? Surely growing the brand, generating income, developing young players etc. are all great things for the future of any club!
    This “instant” generation does my head in at times.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Must admit I always had a bit of a soft spot for city, common rivals at times and all that, and city had some great playes during my formative years of football. Yes, the city fans, especially the long standing ones will feel entitled to their day in the sun, but the fact is, they are currently supported artificially, like otherness s clubs. I know the owners say money injections are to help catch up etc, but surely nobody can argue such models are beneficial to the sport in the long term. I do not know about city, but there are clubs that would go bankrupt tomorrow should their benefactors withdraw. Short term bragging rights aside, this cannot be good for the game. Arsenal have taken a different, if sometimes frustrating and painful path. Some of the aaa want us to finish out of the top four, to lance a boil and bring about better things, the club have not yet gone that far but sacrificed success for a few years to put us in a better position…..and we have always unfortunately sold our best, but just recently, we have signed up our best and most promising to long term deals…..and our recent signings have certainly improved. Our fear would be if more sugar daddies appeared, just say spuds or pool acquired them….how would we respond? We could well end up with usmanov…who knows, unless all this is curtailed.But our team look to be moving forward, and will do so even more so in the next year or so…..ffp or not

  • Adam

    I know this is a pro-Arsenal site but people need to forget their allegiances on this one. Forget clubs they don’t matter, its the industry (sport) of football we are talking about.

    How can we enforce “sporting competitiveness” across the industry. As this is being circumvented in many ways, not just by the benefactor model but also in the differing rules governing the sport from nation to nation.

    One set of rules is needed for the whole of the footballing community to follow regardless of their country of origin.

    Same as the on-field rules, we all follow the same rules but off of it we don’t?

    Then how can we have fair international tournaments?

    Its common sense.

  • TC

    Even mentioning the other team on the same blog as The Arsenal is an insult. Bit like comparing:

    Most football supporters overseas have hardly heard of the latter teams.
    Case rested one thinks.

  • Ted Hughes

    How is a club which didn’t have access to the money & the worlwide publicity brought about by the Champions League, supposed to get into that cosy little elite club & build up a worldwide brand name, without spending money for quite a few years ?

    And why does fair play only apply to the big clubs ?

    What about fair play & wage/transfer caps on everyone, so that Sheffield Wednesday & teams in the lower leagues can compete on an even basis with City & Chelsea ? Why is it just Arsenal & Utd etc who benefit ? What about a draft system for players, to even things out ? I’m a City fan but I’m happy to compete on a level with all the other clubs so long as you money grabbing slimeballs don’t have an advantage.

    Why won’t it happen ?

    The answer: because it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with ‘fair play’, none of you give a flying toss about it. It’s a fix, to try & protect the old cartel of clubs & you all know it. You are just lying through your teeth about it.

    Well you’ve succeeded in stitching up the Everton’s & Newcastles (none of them will ever win the league again now) but just wait & see how it goes with City.

    You haven’t got a cat in Hell’s chance of stitching us up.

    You people are disgusting. Disguising self interest as ‘fair play’, helping yanks take money out of our sport & trying to stop investment from abroad coming in.

    Shameful, sad & futile. Just wait & see. The future is still blue but now with extra pleasure rubbing your faces in it.

  • Charlie G

    350 looks to be a very large figure. similarly when Arsenal signed a 100 m deal with Emirates it was the largest stadium contract at that time. But, over time it became miniscule and constrained the club. 35 m per year, is about right, although a little over the top, when compared to arsenal 30 m per year and MU recent deal with GM.
    MC fans should enjoy the windfall while it last. Especially with managers like Mancini, who knows how to spent spent spent. If oil price falls to 50 bucks as pridicted by the experts, their benefactor will disappear. Then what????

  • Such a bald statement at this deserves some explanation. What is the source of this figure.

  • Glowey I think you are making an error. The EU recognises sport as different from the rest of trade, and makes special provisions for what it sees as its unique nature.

  • Jay – I am profoundly dyslexic, and the fact I can spell anything is quite remarkable and thanks to spelling checkers. Do you also say that any person with any disability is not allowed to comment on anything. It seems a fairly appalling attitude to me.

  • Alan

    It’s funny how clubs like Arsenal hate the fact other clubs are now spending big, they’re not putting themselves into debt as they are bank rolled by rich owners. I seem to recall Arsensl spending big on quite a few occasions in the past , now they don’t have to much money because they are paying a stadium of any one else doing what they did and others of course is frowned on. Why wasn’t FFP thought of then? It is a bent rule full stop you cannot preach about clubs being run as a business and the when one trebles its profits within three years,and £20m a season from Etihad deal does not do that by the way! Try and say they are doing wrong. So I have no doubt UEFA would be sued but not by who you would think i.e Milan, city,Madrid, PSG Chelsea etc. they are already in the club and are now looked after by FFP. It will be new investors in clubs, it is impossible to join the elite without spending big as every team in the elite have proven some time.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ted Hughes,

    About your question on how to do it? I think you have to look at Arsenal as an example. Only in the 5th year of the champions League we got in it of the first time.
    So when we worked our way to the top we didn’t get the money from the CL at all. And in those days the income from the CL was not what it is now if I remember correct.

    So how do you do it? By working hard and by building a team. That is the way to do it. Or get a rich owner and dope yourself to the top.

    But don’t say it is impossible without a sugar daddy. I think Arsenal is a living proof of that.

  • Shard


    Exactly. Why wasn’t FFP thought of then? That is something you should ask yourself. Arsenal weren’t really among the top European clubs before Wenger. And Arsenal did spend a bit of money to get some players. But no one thought to check their rise by bringing in such rules. Why?

    Because Arsenal never had the inflationary and predatory effect on other clubs as Chelsea and ManCity have had. So in a sense, your clubs’ rise has highlighted a problem for football. In fact, an existential problem at its root because the manner of your rise is unsustainable, and impractical for most. And you preaching that other clubs follow the same model still means that only 1 club per year will win the title, while others try and spend more to catch up, in the process of which, many clubs might find themselves bankrupt. Why not have competition by limiting spending rather than by expanding it? After all, this isn’t a game of monopoly that we’re playing. It’s football.

    So when you , or others, criticise any sort of financial curb as motivated by self interest, it is definitely true. It is in the interest of clubs to protect themselves from going extinct chasing a dragon. However, whether these rules will work out properly in practice, remains to be seen. So are you arguing against the principle of limiting spending, or against how it’ll work out in practice?


    What pisses you Arsenal lot off is that you are a selling club.
    How much have we contibuted to your bank balance over the last few years.
    You never asked where the money came from, you never said are you sure you want to pay this much because you have to
    comply with FFP.
    You were happy to take the money and didnt give a toss where
    it came from.
    So all of a sudden when your players are leaving, because they want to win somthing you join in this Rag driven cartel.
    Our money and Chelsea’s came from outside the game and has
    been ploughed into the game. Our owners take nothing from the club unlike the Glaziers who take millions out every year.
    Can you honestly say that if our lot had taken over Arsenal
    or any other team in the Premiership that you would turn them away, I dont think so.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    a really good way of establishing yourself in the Sky Four, would be to ask someone like Danny Fiszman to invest £50 million pounds (of course with inflation and comparatively speaking that would be more like half a billion quids worth nowadays) more than your competitors.
    This would allow you to pay all your players more, and attract all the top young players from abroad like Bergkamp, Viera, Henry, Anelka et al, – Unbeatable !!!

    So yes, the Arsenal way of financially doping is the correct way to break into the cartel.

    Please take my comment out of moderation a bit quicker this time Tony, I’m not rude or anything, thanks.

  • Dave Kennedy

    Forget everything you think you know about Ffp. It isn’t to financially stabilise the industry,it isn’t to ensure fair sporting competition. It has one goal, that is to allow owners to turn football clubs into cash cows, to a lesser or greater degree, what the the glasers have done at united. Old farts like me remember the grim pre-premiership world of the 70s and 80s. Football grounds falling down quicker than attendances. Yes, that’s right, people didn’t really want to see half bladdered players from the night before slogging the crap out of each other. It makes great ” golden age” autobiography reading, but it wasn’t jumpers for goal posts , it was terrace violence, outdoor bogs and some of the poorest excuse for football you’d never want to see. Good for arsenal my arse. A famously avaricious board who have been selling the family silver for the last ten years, what they going to do when you don’t need to keep jack wilshere to stay in the premiership soaking up all that lovely sky money for the next ten years? We just about to enter a new british footballing dark age. Man city, just and example off the top of my head, have pumped close to 80 million quid into arsenal for transfers, (money that wasn’t in the football bubble were building now 5 years ago, but in a Swiss bank) those players, for better or worse are still in the premiership…..they won’t be for long.
    Here’s one for you, have you noticed how the jocks don’t seem to produce great players anymore? That’s cause they weren’t that great, they were just all we could afford. Yeah, go on, tell me how joe Jordan was better than van persie, and Charlie Nicholas could have been bigger than messi….

  • Mandy Dodd

    Don’t think the future is blue this year….arsene wenger saw to that

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Could you give me a link to the financial accounts of Arsenal of those years where we can see evidence of what you say. Because it should be there in the financial accounts somewhere.

    So we should have had financial accounts in those years where we have spend more on our wages and transfers than we had money coming in from tickets and sponsor deals.

    It would sure be helpful if you could give us a link to those accounts (while typing this I am looking for it on the internet).

    Forgive me but Tony Adams words are not really good enough for me. Apart from being a great player he isn’t really…. I just stop here before I commit blasphemy.

  • Mandy Dodd

    But MCFC, our club is turning away such an owner, and some, if not all the fans agree with this. Usually in life, there is no such thing as a free lunch, as the likes of Malaga and others are now finding out….at times to our benefit with the aforementioned club.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Ted Hughes, the way you treated Sylvia Plath was a disgrace. Her poetry was better than yours, you jealous poltroon.

  • Gunner

    To all these people that say we spent loads of money in the past to achieve success, since Wenger came in 97 we’ve actually got a transfer surplus, and have spent far less than the vast majority of mid table clubs like Sunderland or West Ham during that period.

    Nobody has ever gifted Arsenal one billion pound that they didn’t earn to blow on the club. The one off signing of Bergkamp for 7.5 Million was the only ‘extravagant’ signing I can remember and that was paid for by a legitimate share issue after years of paltry investment in players like Jimmy Carter. All our best players in the George Graham days were cheap.

    Vieria came for 3 Million and was attracted not for money but to work with Arsene Wenger who would give him the opportunity to play first team football that Milan didn’t.

    Anelka came for half a million pounds from the PSG youth team and was sold for over 20 million 2 years later. Half of which was spent on Henry at 11 million (again he was attracted to work under Wenger, not because of money) and the other half spent on building a new training ground.

    MCFC – the money spent by sugar daddies isn’t going into the game, it’s passing through it to over greedy players and agents and is pushing up prices for the rest of us trying to compete.

    To be fair I do think the overall problem of too high wages is just as big a problem and it does make it harder for other teams to join the top teams and frankly (although I know it would never happen) there should be a wage cap of about 20k a week – how much more do these players need??! However it doesnt mean teams should just be able to cheat their way to the top with sugar daddy money while others are working hard day in day out trying to compete. Football is a sport, not a rich man’s plaything. If it was left to continue without FFP then clubs would just be competing for rich owners more aggressively than they do on the field, which really is quite pathetic.

  • Glowey

    Tony the EU may TRY to view sport as different but, as has been shown in previous cases tried before the european courts of justice, its not quite that easy.

    If a club does take it to court, whether City, Chelsea, PSG or another club with a wealthy owner, they will employ the worlds leading legal team to fight their case. Money will be no object and, whether UEFA will have the will, not to say finances to fight such a case is debateable. Notwithstanding those factors, the case would tie UEFA up for years as there would be appeal after appeal.

    As has been said so many times FFP is NOT about fair play for all, if it were, it would not be based on a clubs earnings which. of course favours the already major clubs but, would be based on a wages and transfer fund cap, such that all clubs are allowed exactly the same amount to spend on players and their wages.

  • Rupert Cook

    So tell me fellow Arsenal fans, would we all be complaining if Kronke had a brief battle with insanity which he lost and decided to donate 100 million to our spending fund? I’m sure we’d all be ethical should that come to pass.

    Good luck to City, it’s a shame all their money can’t buy a decent performance in the CL or ensure two league titles in a row. Sure I’m certain we won’t be winning the CL either though these days it seems a rather dubious competition thanks to corruption.

    In the end who cares? If we had had Chelsea’s money ten years ago we’d have probably won the CL and a lot more trophies besides. Like everything in life the more money you have the more you’ll acquire. It’s all rather hollow but if it makes you happy that’s fine.

  • Alan


    So you are saying that city paying £35 their record buy is bad for football now but what about when Utd were paying £5m less for a defender ten years ago wasn’t that ‘inflating the market’? Wasn’t Bergkamk at £7.5 when the rest of the league were spending an average 600k on players, what about Henry 1999 my clubs most expensive player at that time cost £1.7m that was alot just to put it into perspective Arsenal wage bill wouldn’t have been that far off Utd’s with most teams wage bill being ten time less! You truly are a joker, now Arsenal are paying off a stadium they can’t pay out till its paid off, hypocrites talk now about business lol no body was interested in Arsenal massive spending then and the fact they were paying at least three times the wages of mid table teams eh?

    Now others are doing exactly what they did they don’t like it just like Huddersfield wouldn’t of like it in the 1930’s when Arsenal bought there first success by pay through the nose for player, in fact the doubled and trebled the transfer record in that decade!

    As I’ve said FFP will not affect city it is not there for them, they are now in the worlds top earning clubs but what it does do is stop others being able to do exactly what Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and City amongst many other have done and there is nothing fair about that! This will only take the fickle support for these lesser clubs and give more to the rich which of course is exactly what the greedy txats at UEFA want. You may want to be a part of that because then your club will always be up there like mine, but I fined it distasteful. Football is rigged for top clubs to stay top. Aston Villa may have a great young player but they can’t possibly keep him because they are not allowed to pay him more, so those that can just take him. How is it possible to build when the player all want that big club. Open your eyes!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Rupert, I would love to at least have the choice a donation of 100m for the team…not sure Wenger would, but thats another argument, it will never happen with Stan of course, but would take it if we needed this money, because we could sustain such a loan/donation or whatever it was to be called and not go under should something unforeseen happen to Stan. Some say we have this sort of money readily available anyway. But some of the Sugar Daddy clubs would go out of business tomorrow if their owners stopped the supply for some reason, I would not ever want this club to become totally dependant on an owner, that is way too risky. TBH, whoever the owner was, I would like the fans to have some srt of protective stake with genuine , though, again an ideal world, unless you happen to support a German club

  • WalterBroeckx

    So if City/Chelsea/psg/… are all in fine with FFP then why oppose them?

    Ah, because you want Aston Villa/Wigan/Norwich to win the league? Yeah… right… LOL…A good one I must admit.

  • Alan

    As for clubs going extinct please name me one that has because it spent big? You will find you are just reciting propaganda. The only clubs going out of business have been since the start if the premier league and the greed of the clubs in it taking not only there fair share of the money but their fans! Football club alway have highs and low but none I repeat none should be able to say we ‘we spent years spending big to take fans and get to where we are, now pulled up the ladder’ because that what has happen.

    Once again this does not affect city, Utd, Chelsea or arsenal as these clubs all have near enough £300m a year or there abouts coming in and before you say it city’s so called ‘dodgy deal’ brings in around £18m a year with half of it use for the new Etihad development so please explain where the other £263m a year comes from if you think this.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    Wow Walter,

    are you really prepared to besmirch the good name of ex Arsenal and England Captain just to score a cheap point, not to mention attempting to revise recent history to your own ends?
    You should research first, then post after, not the other way around.

    Shame on you.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    No the people from City who come here saying things about Fiszman donathing 50M to Arsenal should support their claim.
    And yes I don’t consider Tony Adams as the right person to support their claims.
    I admire and respect the player. But that is all. He is not an accountant (not that I know anyway) so him saying anything about the way Arsenal got or spend their money means not much to me.

    Would you allow him to check if you have a terrible disease or will you leave this in the hands of a doctor? I also prefer a doctor.

    And it is not because he once was a great player that I should take anything he is saying as nothing but the truth.

  • Mr-Ed

    Who will be the first to sue? Probably Fulham against the PL for agreeing to run a cartel. The value of Fulham has dropped as a result. Then probably any one who doesn’t understand what the term ‘Related Party’ means in accountancy law – because the author of this article and many other who have written about FFP don’t.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Grim Oop North,

    About the claims of Arsenal spending 50M from Fiszman I have been on a search on the internet to find evidence of this. Found nothing.

    Now if you or any other person could link me to the accounts of Arsenal in those days and prove me that Arsenal in those days spend a few season with spending the double amount of money on wages and transfers compared to their annual income I really would like to see it.

    Somehow I really doubt that it happened that way. I don’t think any bank would have lend us the money to build the Emirates if we would have spend like that in the years before we started building our new stadium. I think even for the banks this would have been a bridge too far.

    So I ask you once again to back up the claims of you and other City fans with some evidence. If you can’t better not mention it any more. Or you can of course but don’t expect me to take it serious then.

  • Andy Kelly

    @ It’s Grim Oop North
    There is nothing in Arsenal’s accounts that show that Fiszman gave or loaned Arsenal £50m. As Walter says, he may have been a great centre-back and captain but he’s no accountant.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    So because Tony Adams isn’t a qualified accountant he couldn’t possibly have had inside knowledge on where the money was coming from to pay all these new players and the existing ones who got massive wage increases on better contracts?

    he was the Arsenal Club Captain for God’s sake!!!!!

    Do you honestly think that directors and management weren’t running around geeing the playing staff up with plans for title tilts, how they were going to compete with United, so no need to jump ship?

    I’m no accountant either, but if all of a sudden all the top players at the club started getting huge new contracts, and the club breaks it’s own transfer records, then I think I’d have at least asked where the dosh was coming from, it certainly wasn’t from prize monies or increased gate revenues was it?

    Arsenal financially doped themselves in the 90’s, how they put it through the books is for accountants to clarify, but they didn’t do it with magic beans that’s for certain.

    I put it to you, it’s up to you to prove Tony Adams is a liar, and good luck with getting access to the Arsenal’s full accounts from twenty odd years ago, over several seasons.

    Thew facts are that new, massive contracts were offered and accepted, and many new players were brought in for, at the time, huge transfer fees – that is indisputable. The money had to come from somewhere, and the Arsenal Captain of the time, Tony Adams, is on record with an answer – he was there at the time, on the inside, none of you commenting and slandering him were – some of you aren’t even in this country.

    It’s a sad day when you can only take the word of a qualified accountant when it comes to financial matters, as if the rest of us are too stupid to have an opinion.

  • andrew

    The only reasns ffp have been introduced are so that the existing traditional big european clubs can maintain the status quo thereby preventing upstarts like shaktar, psg, city etc from being able to compete which in turn, was forced on platini by the big clubs who threatened to walk out of eufa. If this was done on debt, not turnover, none of the italan clubs, spanish clubs or man united would be allowed to compete,

  • God you gooners obsessed with THE CHAMPIONS don’t half talk some shit ,get over it,it’s not City’s fault your shit,you are embarrassing.

  • Adam

    Ted Hughes (albeit with a touch of Man city pride), raises some good issues, and many people misinterpret the intentions of fair play. There has always been the haves and have not’s in football partly due to the sport being one of location and interest as well as a pyramid system of achievement, It stands to reason that those clubs based within a large population will do well with support over those based within smaller communities having an impact on gate receipts and finances.

    The question raised is, how does a club break in to this elite league?

    The real question people should be asking is, why this elite league was allowed to form?

    And the reasoning behind it is, the rules and self interest currently in place allowed for this situation. (both UEFA & FIFA have a history of allowing this to happen, our own FA as well).

    At no point throughout the last 10-15 years have UEFA or FIFA stopped to ask how the increase in revenue for selected /qualifying clubs would impact national leagues.

    What we see within all organisations that consider themselves governing bodies is that they all run their own tournaments and have self interests.

    What we do not have in world football is a separate governing body that does not have a self interest in tournaments that its only purpose is for the oversight of the industry to ensure a level and fair playing field across multiple sides of football.

    There are so many imbalances to address across the nations that we need a new multi-national Governing body.

  • Ben L

    Didn’t the owners according to the media say the owners of City considered buying Arsenal before City but wasn’t interested in all that debt since they have just built their new stadium?

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim,

    how how how that is really turning the world upside down.
    You and others claim that Arsenal did what City did in the 90ties.

    It is up to YOU TO PROVE YOUR CLAIM. And the only way this can be done is by showing the accounts.

    The last captain who came to the board and who told the board how to run Arsenal is now in Manchester. I really don’t think that the sheikh discusses how he is running the club with Kompany.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    how they did it in the 90ties?
    Well maybe in the same way as they are doing it now. Saving money, waiting for the right moment, occasion, player(s) to spend it on?

    Buying smart so less money paid on transfers can give you more money to spend on bigger wages could be another.

    Even I can come up with different ways of how it can be done.

    And you know that we are sitting on a big pile of cash according to those who are in the know. But don’t worry we will not compete on silly transfers sums and silly wages with you. 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Did you know that the difference in spending between Arsenal and Manchester City in the years between 1992 and 2000 was £12M?

    Yes in those years that you claim that Arsenal had a sugar daddy we paid 12.000.000 more on transfers than you. That is hardly 1M more per year.

    And Arsenal was in the CL so had a bigger income.

    And even City being in the lower league for half of that time, the difference in spending was still only 12M in total!

    Yeah, it sure looks as if we have been spending like mad in those years…

    I wonder how you could keep up that close with us without being in the much more lucrative PL and CL????

  • americangooner

    FFP came into force not because teams were paying astronomical teansfer fees rather they were paying astronomical wages to players. If any big teams pays a small team for the latter’s player then it is a good thing for the small team. If by selling anelka we can construct a good enough training ground, then it can only be a good thing. But the problem arises when players are paid undeserved wages, which the club cant handle on its own, using its own resources, that it has to turn to its benefactors. What happens if the benefactors withdraw?
    What Chelsea and ManC have done is they have paid whoever astronomical wages. If players like johnson, Samba and bridge are paid 100000+ in wages, wouldn’t players with 10 times those players caliber expect more? Those clubs that have cash-cow will always be able to attract best players since money keeps on rolling but this advantage is only limited to certain clubs. Right now chelsea, man-c, rubin, anzhi- by virtue of sugar-daddies; and Barcelona, madrid, mANURE- by virtue of their marketing & global brand, have the upperhand in attracting the best of the best footballers. Since, this monetary power is concentrated in the hands of the few there is bound to be some disparity. What FFP should attempt to do is to minimize this disparity.

  • Shard

    More and more, I’m beginning to believe that the years of finishing nowhere near their local rivals, and now finally being in the vicinity (football wise) as them, has led to a lot of City fans losing all sense of perspective, and has given them an outlet for all the years of pent-up frustration, and dare I say it, inferiority complex. Kind of like Spurs. Poor things.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    once again you only accept those facts which conveniently fit into your simplistic view of football business – just because you can’t corroborate what Tony Adams states on the internet, doesn’t mean to say he isn’t correct, or the financial doping didn’t occur when and how he said it did.

    I am sure his words are a huge embarrassment to all those who trumpet the Arsenal as paragons of financial prudence, but to suggest he is a big liar or somehow mistaken is quite disturbing.

    What on earth would he have to gain by fabricating his words? He was thanking Danny Fiszman for his contribution in turning a mid table, mediocre, often tedious to watch, unambitious club, into the powerhouse of world football they were when the Invincibles were sweeping all before them.Fiszman did not save any money – he invested it in the squad in transfers and wages, which led to success on the pitch.

    If Danny Fiszman had not worked his sugar daddy magic on the Arsenal, they would still be the club that I remember growing up as a lad in the 70’s – steady eddies, but no threat to the “big” clubs like Liverpool, City, Ipswich, Everton and Forest, with Highbury a quaint little ground that couldn’t compete, same as Spurs in White Hart Lane and Chelsea – mediocre crowds – in fact, London clubs like Charlton had more potential for growth at the time – look up their historical attendances.

    To top it all, Fiszman engaged in some boardroom skull-duggery, ousted those directors who didn’t agree with his plans, and set in motion the Emirates stadium development, which was funded in large part by a massive debt in the form of a mortgage – he gambled with the club to the tune of almost half a billion pounds – and unfortunately for the fans this had led to the sum total of no silverware since the move – so in reality one could argue the Arsenal have settled back into their “rightful” place in the English football hierarchy.

    Of course no one has a right to claim they “deserve” to be at the top based on their history, recent or not, that is a nonsense, but when you support financial regulations specifically designed to prevent other clubs competing with you using exactly the same means you did not two decades ago, then you run the risk of being accused of rank hypocrisy.

    Danny Fiszman will be credited in giving us arguably the finest football ever played on this Sceptered Isle, and perhaps ultimately blamed for a barren spell of silverware lasting potentially decades, all because he bucked the trend of Arsenal boards over the ages to gamble spectacularly.

    Should the Arsenal fail to deliver Champions League football, and sell another prized asset, then their business model may prove to be unsustainable – indeed it is only through player sales that profits have been posted in recent years – where’s the next Van Persie, Nasri or Fabregas to paper over the financial holes? No more property to sell on the portfolio, then what will happen?

    Maybe the lawyers will have to be set on Fifa by of all clubs the Arsenal so Usmanov can sort out the lack of quality now so evident on the pitch?

  • It's Grim Oop North


    please stop deflecting, City spent loads of money on players and wages, gambled and generally lost.
    This money was from the board putting their own cash in, and loans etc – don’t forget, until Danny Fiszman financially accelerated Arsenal’s growth, City got much larger crowds and gate money than the Arsenal, even whilst in the lower divisions – always have, historically.

    City have come close to bankruptcy many times in the last thirty years due to gambling on future success, no one is claiming any different.

    What we are talking about is how the Arsenal financially doped their way up the table in the nineties, over and above their historical average placings.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Now I could put all the numbers in an article and prove it that there is only 12M or thereabouts difference between the spending of PL and CL club Arsenal in the 90ties and Manchester City half PL club and first division club in the same period.

    I will provide the links to the site on the internet where I found the numbers and if they are wrong sorry but why should they be wrong? It is a site that collects numbers of all the teams so I don’t think they have any reason to mess those numbers up to make Arsenal look better. It is not an Arsenal site. and then you can also find the numbers of Man City over there. And all the other teams

    Now if you please could link me the Adams quotes I would be grateful.

    Sorry to say but despite the many words you have used I still see no real evidence on the claims of City. Apart from saying that Tony Adams said it. If I could find the link I could also see the context of this.

    a context could be: Arsenal underpaid their players for many many years making lots of money and when the money from the PL and CL came in, they got higher wages

    Or another one could be that Arsenal couldn’t pay higher wages because they were paying the debt for building the new North Bank. And once that was paid they could afford higher wages for the player.

  • Andrei

    @Walter “So how do you do it? By working hard and by building a team. That is the way to do it. Or get a rich owner and dope yourself to the top.”

    Do you mean “working hard” like doing 60 hour week on a manufacturing job? Or “working hard” supported by Skysports multi-billion contract and access to London/Global markets to compete ‘fairly’ against Shamrocks and Clujes of the world? How much are Aresenal positioned to get from the new Skysports deal? Explain me from the Shamrock or Cluj perspective why Skysports financial injection is not a dope and sugar daddy inverstments is?

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s grim up north,

    92-93 place 10
    93-94 place 4
    94-95 place 12
    95-96 place 5

    Enter Arsène Who?

    96-97 place 3
    97-98 place 1

    I think the main doping Arsenal got in the nineties was bringing in Arsene Wenger.

    Before Wenger we were average and had ups and downs (many Gooners have forgotten those years – not us) like yours. the first year in the PL you ended above us.

    of course we spend more in the nineties than you and if I can find the time I will compare them with the other teams in the PL. But be patient. But as said we had PL money and CL money to spend.

  • WalterBroeckx

    by working hard I mean build a scouts network and go looking for young unknown players and make them superstars.

    I think FFP rules are meant to bridge that gap a bit between Arsenal and Cluj. And I welcome that. I have even written an article about that.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off for some other work now. But will check later.

  • Shard

    Yes Andrei. Why don’t we just have one big uniform happy world with no financial division between anybody? Why have countries, let alone different leagues with differing marketing potential? Sheesh.. It’s like if you bring up financial issues, people revert to arguing against all money being evil and that we shouldn’t go back to a barter system. It’s such a straw man, and so completely unrelated that there is no real way to respond to that rationally.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    Tony Adams quotes –

    Ask yourself, why on earth would he make this up?

    What was in it for him to fabricate this lot?

    Or, maybe, he was just telling the truth?

    If you really want an answer, why don’t you ask him next time you see him down at the Emirates???

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Thanks for the link

    Why would he say such a thing? I think the answer is here:

    “he hopes will lead him back to Arsenal one day as successor to Arsène Wenger.”

    He actually is saying: make me manager of Arsenal, let me spend and spend and I will win something.
    I think he wants the Arsenal job but only if he can spend money.

    And I think most Gooners want him back in some kind of function but I really don’t think that he would be a great first team manager given his track record so far

  • Andrei

    @Shard Nobody is advocating for “one big uniform happy world with no financial division between anybody”. The point I’m making is against discriminatory rules that restrict sources of income/funding football clubs can use and create unfair advantage to a small cartel of elite established clubs incidentally including Arsenal.

  • Shard


    Then why bring up the TV deal with Sky? Your statement above is perfectly reasonable. I don’t disagree with you that this can, and perhaps even, will happen. But do you propose doing nothing would be better?

  • Adam

    Yes Walter give me an alcoholic and ex-prisoner to run Arsenal FC.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    Adams could have said a million more pertinent things to put himself in line for the Arsenal manager’s position, surely?

    Such as – “I would be a better manager when I have completed my apprenticeship in a few years time in lower leagues and around the world, and because I am good at defending.”
    “Also, I am Arsenal through and through”, he might have added.

  • Adam

    Well I must say if thats what Arsenal could do with an injection of £50 million. Why have Manchester city’s investors poured £1Billion in to the club? Surely if they followed Arsenal’s method they would have saved themselves a fortune. approximately £950 million.
    What a waste of money?

  • Shard

    It’s no secret that Tony Adams has a strained relationship with the club. I don’t know the reasons for it(I’ve heard lots of theories but nothing conclusive), but it’s been going on for fairly long. Virtually since his retirement. Also, much as he was a great player and a great captain, I don’t think his post retirement exploits in management really have been very successful, to put it politely.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    £50 million twenty years ago is exactly equal to one billion pounds now taking into account inflation and the price Arsenal ask for their best players.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We could say that not each great player will be a great manager.

  • Adam


    Peter Beardsley great player useless coach because no one could understand him?

  • Adam

    It’s Grim Oop North

    Well I opened a bank account long ago and I can promise you inflation hasn’t made me a millionaire.

    Ridiculous comment.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Arsenal only invested net 30M in 8 seasons in the 90ties. How much money is that today as you are the specialist in such matters.

    I just checked it myself and inflation since 1992 means that you have to up it with 47%. So it means spending 30M in the nineties would now be something around 44M.

    I could go on an give you what the investment each year means now but then the number would only get smaller of course as we would have less years.

    So forgive me but I really cannot agree with you saying that 50M then is 1 billion now. I know I can be a difficult character at times.

  • Andrei

    @Adam “Well I opened a bank account long ago and I can promise you inflation hasn’t made me a millionaire”

    Well perhaps you should find a better investment advisor if you were expecting to hedge against inflation by opening a bank account. You just got screwed without realizing it.

  • Shard

    20 times inflation in 20 years??!! It really must be grim oop north.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    lads, I’m tickled pink you took my comment seriously 🙂

    “£50 million twenty years ago is exactly equal to one billion pounds now taking into account inflation and the price Arsenal ask for their best players”

    Of course it’s not you plonkers!

    The giveaway was the bit about the price Arsenal ask for their best players making up the figure 🙂

    You still financially doped your way up the league ‘tho, Tony Adams said so.

  • Adam

    Everytime i open a bank account I get screwed Andrei. The problem for me is stopping the f*ckers from using my money on the overnights?

  • Andrei

    @Walther Are you saying that the house that you could have bought for $30k in 1992 now costs just $44K? Here is chart with historcal house prices in the UK which shows that the London prices at quadrupled since early 90s even with the recent real estate market crash.

  • Shard

    Localising and specifying commodities will obviously give different results Andrei. What’s your point? But without looking at any index, I am certain that Walter’s figure will be closer by far, by any measure, than the ridiculous 50m = 1bn

  • Andrei

    @Adam Yes you should probably start making money on overnights yourself. Better yet start betting on long term decline of UK pound. Which is like a personal license to print money. Goverments do it why not you?

  • Andrei

    @Shard The point is that you shouldn’t use consumer basket inflation rate in dealing with investments. Investing into EPL 20 years ago when it was pretty much a local insignificant competition and today’s EPS as a global brand are two completely different stories.

  • Shard

    Naturally Andrei. Footballer’s wages tell us that anyway. But what you are forgetting that Walter’s point was to disprove the point about 50m pounds in 92, being EXACTLY equal to 1bn pounds today. It’s all moot anyway, because it isn’t certain that Fiszman put in 50m pounds.

  • Shard

    And actually, even if he did, it would still be moot. The point isn’t what happened 80 years ago, or 20 years ago. The point is what is happening now.

  • americangooner

    So it seems nobody’s gonna sue UEFA. But the inflation has increased by some extraordinary percentages according to some and tony adams, so called Mr. Arsenal, is validated by opposition fans. An unqualified person who has won nothing as a coach, found validated. Afterall, isn’t the whole media trying to find someone that authenticates their assertions. Nobody seems to care what pires, henry, fabregas say about AW.
    I don’t know what fiszman did, but did it inflate player wages? Did we usurp any other rival team’s players? Did we change any given player’s mentality that if they join Arsenal they will earn sky high wages. If we paid such high wages, why did so many leave Arsenal? Why were we dependent on player sales to develop a training ground, if Fiszman rolled the money?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Took me a while to wade through this article but it was worth it .Thanks guys .
    Some of the posters here reminded me of this cartoon .

  • It's Grim Oop North

    American Gooner,

    you make several points I shall endevour to answer them –

    “Nobody seems to care what pires, henry, fabregas say about AW.” – I do, especially if they have historic references to Danny Fiszman’s financial doping up the league, so please show me what they have to say on that subject to disprove Tony Adams, in fact show me any quotes from someone directly involved with the Arsenal that proves Adams was wrong.

    “I don’t know what fiszman did, but did it inflate player wages? Did we usurp any other rival team’s players? Did we change any given player’s mentality that if they join Arsenal they will earn sky high wages. If we paid such high wages, why did so many leave Arsenal? ”

    Yes, yes (all those players who came for the money), yes, and those players who left the Arsenal went when the wages stopped being competitive when the Emirates was built, and you stopped winning things, also not a coincidence.

    “Why were we dependent on player sales to develop a training ground, if Fiszman rolled the money?”

    Don’t know, probably because he didn’t want to chuck anymore of his money at the club, especially when he didn’t really need to.

    Hope that helps.

    Brickfields Gunners – that link isn’t available, bet it was hilarious ‘tho eh?

    128 comments if this one is allowed, not a bad little fishing trip Tony, I think we’ve all learnt a lot, such as Tony Adams is a crap manager and not to be trusted, history is irrelevant to any football discussions (thanks for that one Shard), and the smart investor backs on the decline of the pound 🙂

  • Rolee

    Why do people include the purchase price of the club when talking about City’s spending? It’s ridiculous, it makes otherwise seemingly intelligent people look like tabloid junkies.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    Did you come up with any numbers yet proving the words of Adams?

  • Rolee

    Who was the first £100k a week player? But Arsenal aren’t responsible in any way, shape or form for inflation in football, aren’t they not?

  • M18CTID

    Walter, don’t take this the wrong way but can I just politely ask you something? Why are you so utterly desperate to disprove the words of Tony Adams? Dare I suggest that it’s because you can’t bear to believe that he may have been speaking the truth because that would 1) confirm that Arsenal themselves have benefitted at some point from money invested by a rich benefactor, and 2) would paint you as a total hypocrite, given your rather forthright views on clubs that have had money pumped into them from outside sources?

    At the risk of sounding facetious, any right-thinking person would trust the word of a former Arsenal captain who clearly had the inside track on what was going on at the club at the time over that of an Arsenal fan (yourself) that does not, has not, and probably never will have the inside track on what is going on at the club he supports.

  • M18CTID

    Rolee, that was Sol Campbell. Walter sought to defend his wages the other week because there was no transfer fee involved. I doubt it’s any coincidence that his signing led to the first big increase in Arsenal’s ticket prices the following season, as confirmed by an Arsenal fan on another blog a while back.

  • M18CTID

    Shard, in footballing terms £50 million nearly 20 years ago went a hell of a lot further back then than it does now. While I totally agree that it’s not the equivalent to £1 billion now, it’s equally ridiculous to take Walter’s view that inflation in football has only gone up 47% since 1992.

    Besides, as has already been stated City haven’t invested a billion pounds in players since the ADUG takeover. That figure also includes the purchase price of the club and players’ wages while blatantly discounting money brought in through player sales and any other income generated. It’s funny how the same criteria isn’t apllied to any other club when it comes to money spent, ie: if it was applied to Liverpool and the FSG takeover, then it could be argued that they’d spent nearly a billion too.

  • M18CTID

    With reference to the article itself and specifically to related parties, etc, Prestwich Blue nailed it on the very first page of comments. Etihad is NOT a related party. No amount of shouting, screaming, and hollering will change that.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh but over here we have said those things about Liverpool over and over again.

    And yeah I guess it should be clear to all now: Arsenal is the reason for higher ticket prices, the higher wages, the higher transfer sums, the hole in the ozon layer, the heating of the earth, the inflation, ….

    After all TA said it and someone on a blog confirmed it. It wasn’t Le Groan that other blog was it? LOL 🙂 🙂

  • M18CTID

    Now come on Walter, Tony Adams never said that Arsenal were wholly responsible for the spirallng costs in football – he was merely pointing out that Fiszman’s cash injection helped propel Arsenal to another level. The kind of benefactor investment that you appear to be totally opposed to, given your comments about City, Chelsea, PSG, and Usmanov (should he ever gain control at Arsenal). Similarly, the Arsenal fan that observed ticket prices at Highbury rocketed in the 2001-02 season isn’t laying all the blame at Arsenal’s door either; he’s just making a plausible connection between that and Sol Campbells arrival at the club in the summer of 2001.

    I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here and going to assume that you weren’t previously aware of Fizsman’s investment, otherwise you would surely be as scathing about it as you are about all these nasty billionaires having the audacity to invest their own money in those aforementioned football clubs. I say “benefit of the doubt” because if you were previously aware, and don’t have a problem with it, then that makes you a hypocrite.

  • mark


  • americangooner

    Opp grim
    You seem as knowledgeable as adams on fiszman. You are taking whatever adams said at face value and presuming he is right without sufficient backup figures or citations. That’s more like citing wikipedia in a thesis as a legit source.
    Besides adams, I can’t find any other person extolling fiszman’s ‘money roll’.

  • M18CTID

    So Tony Adams is lying then? Errrr, ok mate. Perhaps David Dein and Ken Friar are in on this lie too? Like I said earlier, with all due respect I’ll take the word of Tony Adams over anyone that doesn’t have access to the inner workings of Arsenal FC:

    “In 1996, I had just sobered up. I had a meeting with David Dein and Ken Friar and said, ‘What are we doing [at Arsenal]?’ They said, ‘We’re going for it. Danny Fiszman has invested £50m.’ We bought David Platt, Dennis Bergkamp; then Arsène came in, then the French guys and I got the best contract of my career. It went from £300,000 up to £1m and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’ll stay! We’re going to try to win the league.’

  • WalterBroeckx

    Are you sure about his first sentence 😉

    I don’t know if he is lying or not. But I would like to see evidence. Because if a person puts 50M in a club then there should be some trace of it in the books.

    Fiszman might have bought shares for 50M that could be true. But I can’t find transfer layouts in surplus of 50M

    Look at those numbers by the way. Arsenal captain, England captain and not even 6.000 a week at Arsenal. Then going to not even 20.000 a week.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If you look at the transfer spending in 1996 in the PL I see that Newcastle, Everton and Liverpool all spend more than Arsenal.
    And as I said and can prove but I don’t know if I will find the time to write it down in an article Arsenal spend (almost) nothing the season before and de season after that.

    I have given maybe some 4 or 5 options that could have played a part in the pattern of spending at Arsenal in the 90ties: one season spend a lot and then spend nothing to almost nothing.

    Damn even when we had a sugar daddy he still was very tight with the money compared to other teams. We never get it right… 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Also don’t forget from that moment on the income from the PL became bigger and the CL money came down for those clubs who qualified. And since we qualified near the end of the nineties we got more money available.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And what if Tony Adams would say: “City is a disgrace for football in the PL with their way of operating and with their financial doping.”

    Would you still consider him the expert that tells the truth?

  • theironing

    I don’t think Walter is extending the same courtesy’s to this info given by Adams as he would should the comments be something that does not offend his sensibilities.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    with regard to your question –
    “It’s Grim Oop North,

    Did you come up with any numbers yet proving the words of Adams?”

    I’m sorry to say I’ve spent all day petitioning Arsenal PLC, in the politest of tones, but all to no avail!
    Shockingly, they refuse to allow me access to their accounts, and indeed at one point during a particularly drawn out and fractious phone call, a senior member of the payroll and accounts team told me, and I quote verbatim here, “Bugger off you annoying Manc Twat, I’ve got better things to do with my time than trawl through all that paperwork from twenty years ago, if you call back I’ll get an injunction out on you, knobhead.” – which I thought was rather rude and uncalled for, but I can take a hint, so I thought I’d best do one in true scally style.

    Perhaps you could help me out here, and ask one of the “players” from that time next time you’re at the Emirates if Tony Adams was onto something, or just out of his tits and was trying to impress some bird on the Independant newspaper, or something.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    just noticed this theoretical query from your good self –

    “And what if Tony Adams would say: “City is a disgrace for football in the PL with their way of operating and with their financial doping.”

    Would you still consider him the expert that tells the truth?”

    I tell you what Walter, I’d pull him in no uncertain terms, and direct him to the very same article in the Independant, and call him a proper Hypocrite, and no mistake! (Not to his face you understand, he might be getting on a bit, but I bet he’d give me a good hoofing for being a cheeky Northern Monkey) 🙁

  • Stuart


    Sol was actually signed at 60K per week and not the 100k+ commonly misquoted. The extra money was a signing on fee paid in installments rather than a lumpsum.

  • Shard

    There is a middle ground between Adams lying and Adams’ words being gospel. He might simply be misinformed. Fiszman ‘invested’ 50m in the club? How? Nowhere else has this been mentioned ever. I checked. Fiszman’s history mentions the shares he bought from Dein to gain his shareholding in Arsenal, but there is no mention of any 50m being spent on Arsenal. Fiszman did have a 50m holding in a company called Psion.

    When is this cash injection supposed to have occurred? I’ve checked the accounts and nowhere does our turnover ever jump by anywhere close to 50m pounds. In fact, we didn’t even have a turnover of 50 million till 1999-2000. So where did this money go?

    If it really were true, then how has none of this ever been mentioned before by any source? Would an impartial person actually take Adams’ statement (such as it is, maybe it lacks context) at face value especially in the absence of any corroborating evidence? He’s hardly the go-to guy on financial matters. At most, his ‘insider status’ at Arsenal means he would have heard something of the nature.

    City fans holding on to Adams’ statement are as biased in this as Arsenal fans can be accused of being. They feel that this being true would justify their club’s path. But unfortunately, one player (that’s all he was) saying something completely uncorroborated doesn’t prove anything. In fact, the evidence points to Adams being wrong.

  • Shard

    But City fans,

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Arsenal financially doped in the past. Does it change in any way the need to stop an inflationary spiral? The likes of which football has never seen before, and which in no small part is due to clubs like yours. That’s what I meant about the past being moot. Not that it’s entirely irrelevant. Just that the future can’t be a slave to it.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    the FFFP regs aren’t designed to stop inflation of wages, and nor are they in any way “fair”, when the inevitable outcomes are projected.
    They are protectionist, and serve only the elite few, ironically City are probably now established in that select group, hence the crude attempts of the usual suspects to take them even further for the Premier League.
    We don’t want these laws even tho we stand to benefit the most, they are just plain wrong.
    How to bring true fairness into football is another debate entirely, one in which I’m sure we’re all happy to engage in.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Its Grim Oop North @ Feb 14 10.32 am – Sorry you were unable to view the cartoon .I’m able to still view it but thru Facebook .
    Anyway it says – “A woman is always right ….just sometimes
    confused ,misinformed ,rude , stubborn ,unchangeable , senseless … but never wrong !”
    I guess we all have had first hand experience of this !

  • M18CTID

    Fiszman aside, Arsenal have indeed “financially doped” (a stupid saying IMHO – I prefer the word investment) in the past. Firstly under Henry Norris, then under Samuel Hill-Wood who initially bankrolled his home town team Glossop North End to the top flight (it’s been suggested he used £30,000 of his own money which was a huge amount at the turn of the 20th century) but they didn’t have the support base to work towards becoming self-funding, due in some part to the fact that Glossop is only 15 miles from Manchester and the 2 Manchester clubs had the monopoly in terms of support in the city itself and the surrounding area. Some years after severing his ties with GNE, Hill-Wood became chairman of Arsenal where his investment made more of a long-lasting an impact than it did at Glossop because Arsenal were a bigger club that could draw on support from the biggest city in England.

    As for the comment that City’s owner has invested a sum of money “the likes of which football has never seen before”, instead of pointing fingers at City, perhaps the question should be asked as to why, in today’s game, it takes so much money for a decent sized club to become realistic title challengers. You pretty much agreed with me the other week that the gap between the haves and have-nots has never been greater and naturally that in turn makes it a damn sight harder for clubs outside the top 4 or 5 to become genuine challengers – unless they received outside investment.

    I actually hold UEFA largely responsible for fuelling this imbalance. By paying such huge amounts of money to clubs qualifying for the Champions League while treating the Europa League as an afterthought this significant additional income has, in turn, given clubs a major advantage over their domestic rivals that haven’t finished in the CL places and this just serves to cement those clubs as perennial qualifiers every year. The fact that we now live in a world where finishing 4th in the Premier League is viewed as being far more important than winning the FA Cup tells us everything we need to know about how priorities have changed, eg: City got £3.4 million for winning the FA Cup in 2011 yet that pales into insignificance against the £20 million or so that we’ll get for not winning a single Champions League game this season. That’s right – a failed Champions League campaign nets us 6 times as much as we got for winning the most famous domestic cup competition in world football. You really couldn’t make it up.

  • Rupert Cook

    So after reading so many different views over FFP can we assume that it won’t make a huge difference anyway as loopholes will be discovered and ploughed through? How on earth can there ever be a level playing field in football? It seems that FFP will serve the bigger clubs better than the smaller ones. Will its introduction mean Everton, Newcastle or even Swansea could ever win the league? Isn’t it amazing to consider that Cardiff would have been league champions back in the twenties if the goal difference rule had been applied. Or that Derby or Ipswich have won the league in living memory.

    Here’s my idea. It’s not a finely honed solution but quite revolutionary and such things are difficult to finesse.

    At the beginning of every season each player’s name is placed in a hat corresponding to his favoured on field position. Then the twenty PL teams are placed in one hat. A team is drawn out of the hat and that team then gets to pick one player for each position from each relevant hat. The next team is drawn out of the hat and follows the same procedure. It would introduce an element of fun and guarantee no team has an unfair advantage. There would be a flat wage for all players of £2,000 a week. This reduced yet substantial wage would perhaps teach footballers some respect towards money. No transfer window in the season. At the season’s end the process is repeated.

    There you have a fairly level playing field. It would almost certainly expunge the dreaded sugar daddy from club ownership. Perhaps performances in Europe would suffer but as those competitions seem prone to corruption what actual loss
    would that be?

    And what a colourful league we’d have. Even Wigan might win the league one season. Anyone could be relegated. So much more refreshing than the usual cartel ruminating at the top of the table.

    Just thought I’d throw this into the argument. Sorry for repeating this but this thread seems more active at the moment.

  • M18CTID

    Walter, I agree that those figures surrounding the wages of Tony Adams are very interesting. From £6,000 a week in the mid-1990’s to £20,000 a week and then you have Sol Campbell earning £100,000 a week just 5 years later, or £60,000 a week according to an Arsenal fan on here. So there we have it – Sol’s contract at Arsenal was netting him between 10 and 16 times what TA was earning just 5 or 6 years previous.

    Like I say, it makes for very interesting reading because I think it’s fair to say that you’ve just made a mockery of your own assumption that inflation in football has only increased by 47% since 1992 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    don’t worry M18CTID, I already admitted that Arsenal is the root of all evil in the football world.

    I even think if they trace them down even the meteors in Russia from today are a direct result of Arsenal being financially doped in the 90ties. Not long now and the media will discover that the meteor in fact was just the huge suitcase that Fiszman used to bring his 50M to Arsenal. And after filling the clubs bank account they wanted to get rid of the evidence. But TA had seen it. Arsenal then put the suitcase in a rocket (this is where Kroenke steps in – NASA)

    Maybe he was hoping to find out if there was still some money in it and that is the reason he went over there in Russia. But it landed on the wrong place.

  • WalterBroeckx

    TA being Tony Adams. Not our own Tony Attwood 😉

  • M18CTID

    To be honest Walter, it makes a refreshing change to see Arsenal getting blamed for all football’s evils instead of City 😉